Short-eared Owls – Nomadic and Enchanting

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Male Short-eared Owl basking in sunlightMale Short-eared Owl basking in sunlight – Nikon D810, f8, 1/800, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

This year I’ve seen far more Short-eared Owls in Utah than I have since I moved here in 2009 and I’ve been enjoying photographing these nomadic and enchanting owls for over a month. Short-eared Owls will can be seen where there is ample prey to be found and if the small mammal population crashes they will move on which is why they are considered nomadic. These owls might not be in the same locations next year so I am taking every opportunity to photograph them that I can.

Watchful Short-eared Owl maleWatchful Short-eared Owl male – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

I woke about 3 am this morning and will soon drive 90 miles to the north hoping to see and photograph more Short-eared Owls. Yesterday from a distance I saw a male short-eared courtship sky dancing display so maybe they haven’t all started nesting. I would love to get images of the owls sky dancing that weren’t from a mile away!

Perched female Short-eared Owl in Box Elder CountyPerched female Short-eared Owl in Box Elder County – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

Yesterday along with photographing male Short-eared Owls in the photos above I was able to photograph this female perched on a rusty metal post. She didn’t stay all that long but I enjoyed every second that I had with her.

Life is good.



  1. Utahbooklover May 15, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    What wonderful images, and such a beautiful day Saturday was—my first day back helping falconer Steve Chringren with another fun season of the Hogle Zoo bird-shows.

  2. Humming bird lover May 14, 2016 at 6:36 am

    Hi! Beautiful photo’s of one of my favorite birds! Thanks for sharing! love mom! Have a great day!

  3. April Olson May 13, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    Beautiful birds, Wishing a happy and successful nesting year.

  4. Elephant's Child May 13, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Owls – all of them – have a huge place in my overflowing heart.

  5. Patty Chadwick May 13, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Although my personal owl experiences have been with a Great Horned Owl and a Screech Owl, I consider the Short-ear to be the epitome of owlness. Their shape, coloration, color patterns, facial features, etc. all represent the ultimate in “being owl “to me. I’m so glad to hear there are so many of them to be seen this year…a nice change from the usual statistics of decline!

  6. Wendy Chapman May 13, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Lovely images. The last one has a feminine feeling with the pretty pastel background.

  7. Roger Burnard May 13, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Nice, nice, nice… love owls… ;-)))

  8. Bob McPherson May 13, 2016 at 6:30 am

    Beautiful photos Mia. Always love your owl features.

  9. Liz Cormack May 13, 2016 at 5:34 am

    Wonderful photos. I love the eye contact.

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