Short-eared Owls are nomadic so the places where I saw and photographed these male Short-eared Owls last year may or may not have owls this breeding season. It all depends on prey, if there is plenty of prey they might be back this year and if there isn’t they will move on and find locations with enough prey to sustain them and their young. I hope I’ll find the owls but more than that I hope they find locations where they will be able to successfully raise their chicks.
Last year I was able to find plenty of Short-eared Owls in a couple of locations in Utah and I photographed the males, females and their young from the chicks to fledglings.
In Idaho I was able to find this male Short-eared Owl in low light before the sun could brighten him up but I took photos of him anyway as he perched on a mound near some railroad tracks.
I saw the most Short-eared Owls in Utah but that only makes sense because I spent most of their breeding season here in Utah where I live and I was able to look for them more often than I could in Idaho and Montana. I watched them hunt and take to the ground after their prey, sometimes they would catch the prey and sometimes they would miss. This male missed his prey but I wanted to photograph him in the spring grasses doing what these handsome owls do naturally.
For a couple of years I didn’t see many Short-eared Owls in Montana but last year I saw plenty of them including their young. With the wide opens spaces up there I could often see them from a mile away or more in flight over the grasslands and marshes.
Last year was my best year yet for photographing Short-eared Owls and even though I still don’t know if this year will be as good I am so very grateful for all the time I spent with them last year and learning more about these fascinating diurnal owls.
Life is good.