Roadside Short-eared Owl Female

/, Box Elder County, Short-eared Owls, Utah/Roadside Short-eared Owl Female

Female Short-eared Owl along a road in northern UtahFemale Short-eared Owl along a road in northern Utah – Nikon D810, f10, 1/200, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

I photograph from inside a vehicle probably 98 to 99% of the time I spend in the field here in Utah. Using a vehicle as a mobile blind works because the birds are often accustomed to the traffic and have grown used to vehicles whizzing by or parked as a farmer or rancher works out in the fields but they don’t tolerate people on foot as well in many of the locations where I go to photograph. So I stay inside the “mobile blind”.

Earlier this year, after spotting this Short-eared Owl female on a fence post in northern Utah, I was able to drive up slowly and park on the opposite side of the road and photograph this owl as she preened, dozed and looked around the nearby grassy areas. I took a ton of images of her but still haven’t found the time to process them all.

I haven’t been seeing the Short-eared Owls lately and that is most likely because their young are now on their own and they don’t need to hunt as much because now they only need to feed themselves. It was great being able to photograph so many Short-eared Owls this year.

Life is good.



  1. Todd Henson August 21, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Mia, this is an absolutely gorgeous image! I love the intensity of the stare. Owls eyes are amazing. Great background, the owl really pops. I love this image! I don’t often shoot from my car, too much traffic in this area and the local parks are mostly hiking parks. I do think I’d like to start driving a bit further out, though, see if I can find some farmland more suited to car-side photography. You make great points about the critters being less wary of vehicles. Great work!

  2. suzanne Mcdougal August 16, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Amen. They are all that.

  3. Elephant's Child August 16, 2016 at 3:23 pm


  4. Lois Bryan August 16, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    oh my heavens!!!!!! It just does NOT get any cuter or sweeter than this!!!!!!

  5. Patty Chadwick August 16, 2016 at 11:10 am

    This is a short-earred owl classic! The perfect picture of a short-earred owl!!! From the owl itself to the perch it’s sitting on…and how it’s sitting on the perch….wonderful!!!

  6. Linda Laugen August 16, 2016 at 8:54 am

    What is “Birds” ? Has Mia written a book or put her work into book form?? Thanks for anyone’s answer!!
    She has made me into quite the owl fan!! My young grandchildren (6, 4) used to be afraid of owl pictures of any sort, but I am teaching them what I know about owls and how to ID their various hoots! They have become quite interested! And are not afraid any more (also a bit older!) Linda Laugen

  7. Bob McPherson August 16, 2016 at 6:51 am

    Beautiful photo, Mia. Love your Owls.

  8. Kim August 16, 2016 at 6:10 am


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