Short-eared Owl Photographed in Morning Light

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Short-eared Owl looking back over its shoulderShort-eared Owl looking back over its shoulder – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

Most of the people who follow my photographic journeys here on my blog know I prefer morning light when photographing birds when the light is softer because of the low angle of the sun in the sky and because birds are active first thing in the morning either looking for food for themselves or for their chicks if they have them. Late afternoon is also a great time to photograph birds for the same reasons but personally I am best at spotting and finding birds in the morning. Like some birds I am most active in the morning myself.

Two days ago the first bird I put my lens on was a Short-eared Owl perched on a rusty metal post looking over its shoulder in morning light. I have tons of images of perched Short-eared Owls but I think the background in this one is a bit different and I loved the soft morning light on the owl. Even though it hasn’t been very hot yet some of the grasses in northern Utah have begun to dry out already and in this photo those drying grasses can be seen at the top of the frame, the green bit towards the middle and the bottom are sagebrush and some taller grasses that are still green. The fence posts in the background were unavoidable but they were so out of focus that I don’t feel they distract too much or take my eyes away from the owl for very long.

The Short-eared Owls here are not as numerous or showing up in high concentrations as they were last year so every time I am able to photograph one this year I am thrilled and feel grateful to have them in my viewfinder.

Life is good.


2017-05-22T04:22:43+00:00May 22nd, 2017|Categories: Birds, Box Elder County, Short-eared Owls, Utah|Tags: , , , , , |11 Comments


  1. April Olson May 22, 2017 at 3:35 pm


  2. Pepe Forte May 22, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Very cool shot Mia. Love the subtle background. Thanks.

  3. Elephants Child May 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    I am quite definitely a morning person. My days are not blessed with owls though – until I come here. Thank you.

  4. Larry Muench May 22, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Beautiful! The colors are spectacular and the owl is so crisp and sharp with the wonderfully soft but colorful background.

  5. Patty Chadwick May 22, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Love this image! Short-ears often seem to choose such narrow perches, though you’ve shown us some wonderful images of them perched on old, weather-worn, wooden posts, too.

    • Patty Chadwick May 22, 2017 at 10:35 am

      You’re talking about “sweet light”…comes along twice a day, but morning has the best….

  6. M. Bruce May 22, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Your right, the secret’s in the light.

  7. Laura Culley May 22, 2017 at 8:01 am

    What a terrific way to begin the day! WOW! and THANK YOU!

  8. Bob mcpherson May 22, 2017 at 6:07 am

    Gorgeous image, MiA.

  9. Liz Cormack May 22, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Wow, is right!

  10. Stu May 22, 2017 at 4:40 am

    Thanks for another “Wow!” image.
    Best wishes.

Comments are closed.