Close up of a curious Short-eared Owl fledgling – Nikon D810, f8, 1/800, ISO 500, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited
Two years ago today I had a fantastic time photographing Short-eared Owl fledglings on tumbleweeds that were in front a fence in northern Utah. It was a great year for seeing adult, chicks and fledgling Short-eared Owls and I took full advantage of every opportunity I had with theses owls each and every time I was able to find them. It only makes sense with nomadic species to take as many photos as I can because the next year there may not be as many of them around.
Fledgling Short-eared Owl on a tumbleweed – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 500, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited
Also, I don’t have many opportunities to take photos of birds perched on tumbleweeds. I see plenty of tumbleweeds out here in the west but not many that have birds on them. Tumbleweeds don’t look all that sturdy to my eye but then Short-eared Owls don’t weigh that much either, only about 12 ounces full grown and this fledgling was smaller than an adult. Unlike other birds of prey who are as large as the adults when they fledge Short-eared Owls leave their ground based nests at about 12 to 18 days old which is before they can fly.
Fledgling Short-eared Owl perched on tumbleweed in early morning light – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 500, -1.0 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited
Today I wonder how the chicks I photographed are doing and if they are now raising their own young.
Life is good.