Young Short-eared Owl – Nikon D810, f10, 1/800, ISO 320, -1.0 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited
I’m keeping my first post of 2018 short, sweet and simple. Sweet because who can resist a Short-eared Owl chick with those big yellow eyes? I know I can’t.
I could have missed seeing and photographing this Short-eared Owl chick and two of its siblings except for a stroke of serendipity. I was meeting a friend in northern Utah who had come from out of state to photograph birds so I drove up to Box Elder County and did a little bit of exploring on my own before I planned on heading to our meeting place. When I saw a pickup in front of me slowly heading south on the road I wanted to be on I decided at that moment to turn around and head a different direction. I wasn’t sure I would find any birds but I was okay with that.
If I hadn’t turned my Jeep around when I did in the direction I chose I would never have found three adorable Short-eared Owl chicks not far from the shoulder of the road in beautiful morning light. I didn’t stay with the chicks long because I didn’t want to stress the young birds or prevent the adults owls from feeding them so I quickly took some photos and left them them alone.
I can tell you that finding and photographing the young Short-eared Owls was one of the brightest highlights of that day for me and that I was enchanted by the beautiful owlets. I also learned that sometimes by not taking the path I planned to take and heading a different direction can bring unexpected joy.
I”m looking forward to 2018 and I wish you all the best. Happy New Year!
Life is good.