Six years ago today I photographed my first Short-eared Owl in low light at Bear River MBR and it was the day my obsession and fascination with these beautiful owls began. I’d seen them before but not through my viewfinder. Even though the light was low I was simply dying to get a few high quality images of this male as he sat perched on a wooden post next to the road and I was elated when that happened. Sure, that post isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as a natural perch, but it was a Short-eared Owl!
The same year I found a Short-eared Owl nest and from a distance I was able to watch the male bring prey into the nest and watch the female feeding a chick. I was also able to experience 13 minutes of pure joy when I observed and photographed the female owl above early on a foggy morning at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Montana. I took hundreds of images of her in that short 13 minutes while the fog and lake mist whirled around her as the sun rose. And each time I have passed the post this female owl was perched on… I have to smile. I can’t help myself.
This month I have had several opportunities to watch and photograph Short-eared Owls in northern Utah and I couldn’t be happier. Okay, well maybe I could by seeing them every day instead of just a few times a month. This month I’ve photographed them hunting, perched on posts, dive bombing a coyote, seen males way off in the distance perform their aerial courtship display of wing clapping and enjoyed just being around them again. And the month isn’t over quite yet.
All birds fascinate me, all birds fuel my passion (some might say addiction) for bird photography and I am truly obsessed with them all. Today simply marks the day six years ago when my delightful obsession with photographing Short-eared Owls began on a dirt road at Bear River MBR.
Life is good. Life with owls included is a hoot!