Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 01/22/2014

Photo taken on December 22, 2013

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High River area
previously Strix otus
at ground level
Long-eared Owl
Asio otus
bird of prey
covered in frost

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Frosty Long-eared Owl

Frosty Long-eared Owl
Five days before I saw this Long-eared Owl, its little face covered in ice crystals, I was lucky enough to see two of these owls (see photo in comment box) on a Christmas Bird Count south of the city. The owl in my top photo was down at ground level, hidden in a small cluster of trees, and it looked just like a small, narrow, broken-off tree stump. Friends Cathy and Terry and I would probably never have seen it, but fortunately a car had pulled over and stopped way ahead of us. We slowed right down and stopped some distance behind them, just in case they had found something or were trying to photograph something that might move. It turned out to be this little guy/gal : ) Impossible to get even a half-decent photo, the owl was so well hidden, but we were so thrilled with this sighting, especially my friends, who had never seen a Long-eared Owl before! This was how we started the day. We ended it with seeing a Short-eared Owl. In total, we saw 5 Snowy Owls, 4 Great Horned Owls, 1 Long-eared Owl and 1 Short-eared Owl. Plus a few other species, including a Northern Shrike, many Grey Partridges (all of which flew before we could take photos, other than a couple of very distant ones), Horned Larks, Ravens/Crows, owls in barn windows (always a real treat - see yesterday's photo), a beautiful Gyrfalcon and a colourful sunrise. Not a bad day, I think you'll agree : ) The only thing we didn't see, except briefly, was the sun, so we had low light all day, unfortunately! It was so unbearably cold all day, windchill temperature was -30C. A few seconds out of the car and fingers were so painful, despite wearing gloves. Difficult to hold the camera steady when one is shivering, ha.

Cats 99, LeapFrog have particularly liked this photo

It has been a tough winter for all living creatures this year ... lucky you are back to some reasonable temps ... I am not too sure about much of the wildlife here ... at least my backyard visitors are feeding well ... but I am sure others in the wild are not faring too well ... a terrific shot of this Owl, Anne!!
3 years ago.
Cats 99
Cats 99
How cool to see one covered in frost like this! I have seen ravens covered in frost when it's -30C out - they look white or partly white. An owl is even more cool to see, though I feel sorry for how the birds have to survive in that brutal cold.
3 years ago.