Short-eared Owl photobombed by a butterfly

/, Glacier County, Montana, Short-eared Owls/Short-eared Owl photobombed by a butterfly

A Short-eared Owl photobombed by a butterflyA Short-eared Owl photobombed by a butterfly – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 320, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

I have been spending time this week moving my owl images from their old galleries to the new ones and some times that means digging through my archives to reprocess some of the images because I want them all to have my current copyright watermark on them and by digging through my archives I am finding images I had forgotten about or had not processed before. Some are gems and a few are just funny.

I think this Short-eared Owl being photobombed by what appears to be a Cabbage Butterfly falls under  the funny ones. The image was taken next to some CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) land in Glacier County, Montana in the evening light. The owl pretty much stayed in that same area all afternoon but the light started getting better around 7 pm when this image was taken. There was escaped alfalfa and sweet clover blooming on the CRP land which probably attracted the butterfly.

My only wish for this image is that the butterfly had been as sharply in focus as the Short-eared Owl was but with bird photography you never know what might show up in the frame.

Life is good.


Image taken in August, 2011


  1. Humming Bird Lover May 22, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Hi! love the color of the butterfly! Also The Owl is beautiful! Keep up the good work!

  2. Lynn May 21, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Your photograph is lovely, Mia. The Short Eared Owl looks completely unperturbed by the little intruder. And I love how the butterfly appeared in your frame. It’s amazing what we don’t see when focusing on our birds.

  3. Patty Chadwick May 21, 2015 at 8:01 am

    That butterfly must have thought the owl was part of theost it’s perched on….luckily, I don’t think owls eat butterflies!

  4. Susan Stone May 21, 2015 at 7:11 am

    The butterfly is a Western White (Cabbage butterflies have a black tip on their upper wings and one black spot).

    • Elephant's Child May 21, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      Thank you. I was thinking a Cabbage White too, and wondering whether the slight differences were in our country’s naming of them. And I have a love for butterflies AND owls so this is a wonderful photo bomb for me.

  5. Kathie May 21, 2015 at 6:42 am

    Cute photo, Mia! What a lot of work, though! I hope it all goes well for you!

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