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My very first Long-eared Owl, October 2006
I was deleting a few very old photos recently and came across this one, taken on 13 October 2006. I posted a vertical shot back then, but thought I'd post a view that shows more of the body position. I always say that 13 is my lucky number and that day was Friday 13th! That evening, I decided I would drive over to the east end of Fish Creek Park and see if I could see a familiar pair of Great Horned Owls. I wanted some new owl photos to post here! Instead, I decided I would stop off en route at Burnsmead and take a few pictures of a really beautiful sky. Thought I'd do a short walk while I was there and when I heard rather a lot of noisy Chickadees coming from one particular bush, I stopped to have a look. I found myself staring into the eyes of this rare to uncommon, wonderful little owl!! This photo was taken after it had flown a couple of feet to a different branch in the same bush. It almost reminded me of a cat lying down. Then I accidentally snapped a dead branch that was lying on the ground and the owl flew a few bushes away, where it was immediately surrounded by Magpies that harassed it. This was the first time I had ever seen a Long-eared Owl and I was SO excited! I must admit that I wasn't even sure what kind of owl it was until I got home and checked. Since that day, I've seen another five or six Long-eared Owls, so I have been extremely lucky.