Young Short-eared Owl – A Stroke of Serendipity

/, Box Elder County, Short-eared Owls, Utah/Young Short-eared Owl – A Stroke of Serendipity

Young Short-eared OwlYoung 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.



  1. Pepe Forte January 4, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Great pic. Love the Owl’s intense stare. The eyes are so vivid. Thx Mia.

  2. Ken Schneider January 2, 2018 at 4:34 am

    Great expressive portrait!

  3. Nicole January 1, 2018 at 6:04 pm


  4. Patty Chadwick one of my favorite birds January 1, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    Are you sure that isn’t Darth Vadar??

  5. Elephants Child January 1, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    Woo Hoo. I am in.
    And generously rewarded with an owl. A beautiful way to start any day/year. Thank you so much.

  6. Laura Culley January 1, 2018 at 10:34 am

    Oh just gorgeous! Don’t you just love serendipity along the road less traveled? I love meandering with no certain destination. I’ve found such spectacular sights along that path!
    Wishing you a joyous and serendipitous New Year!!

  7. Marty K January 1, 2018 at 9:43 am

    May your 2018 be filled with serendipitous moments like this one! 🙂

  8. April Olson January 1, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Wonderful birds. I hope they are plentiful this year.

  9. MareBear January 1, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Incredible way to start the new year, thank you!

  10. LSClemens January 1, 2018 at 8:55 am

    Great series! For me, the best birding days are when I find something totally unexpected. Saturday I was replenishing the feeders at our town park when an owl hooted from the holly grove….so cool! And, the day before, I came across 5 ruddy Turnstones working the Long Island Sound shoreline at low tide….why aren’t these guys down South? Two highlights in two days! Have a great 2018!

  11. hummingbird lover January 1, 2018 at 8:26 am

    oOve the Photo’s thanks for sharing! Have a Happy 2018 shooting, Love mom

  12. Liz Cormack January 1, 2018 at 6:54 am

    I hope 2018 will bring you great opportunities to photograph birds & wildlife in general. I’m looking forward to your photos for sure.

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