Winter is tough on the Barn Owls in Utah especially when there is lots of snow on the ground and the temps drop down into the single digits. They have a hard time getting their prey through the snow which means they hunt longer and hunt during the day. We lose a lot of our Barn Owls when the winters are especially harsh.
On January 1st I spotted this resting Barn Owl on some hay bales not too far from the juvenile Red-tailed Hawk at the hot spring. I didn’t see the owl shiver but it also never opened it eyes to even look around while I photographed it and they are normally a skittish bird. That alone can tell me that the owl is under stress.
Normally I would like to have a bit of eye contact from my subject but in this case I just wanted to write about how tough it can be to be a Barn Owl in the winter here in Utah. I have spotted several of them since the snow has been thick on the ground and most of them have been doing exactly what this owl is doing, resting and conserving energy to survive.
I thanked the owl after taking a few shots and left it undisturbed.
Life is tough.