Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 01/26/2016

Photo taken on January 25, 2016

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wooden post
Asio flammeus
Short-eared Owl
Anne Elliott
front/side view
E of Calgary
Family: Strigidae
25 January 2016
rural scene
bird of prey

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One of yesterday's treats

One of yesterday's treats
Yesterday, 25 January 2016, after staying away from the Short-eared Owls for a week, I decided I would go back and see if one of them might just happen to land on something a little bit closer. Also, the weather forecast for the day was for sunshine and cloud, but the forecast for later in the week was for more snow.

I had somewhat better luck yesterday, but the owls were still some distance away, so I had to fully zoom (48x), which resulted in less than sharp photos. Needless to say, though, I was thrilled to get a few better looks at these beautiful owls. I was the only person around when I saw this owl down the road. This does seem to be a good winter for this species, which is exciting. Even so, a tremendous amount of patience is needed : )

"A bird of open grasslands, the Short-eared Owl is one of the most widely distributed owls in the world. It is found across North America, South America, and Eurasia, and on many oceanic islands." From AllAboutBirds.

"The short-eared owl (Asio flammeus) is a species of typical owl (family Strigidae). Owls belonging to genus Asio are known as the eared owls, as they have tufts of feathers resembling mammalian ears. These "ear" tufts may or may not be visible. Asio flammeus will display its tufts when in a defensive pose. However, its very short tufts are usually not visible. The short-eared owl is found in open country and grasslands.

The short-eared owl is a medium-sized owl measuring 34–43 cm (13–17 in) in length and weighing 206–475 g (7.3–16.8 oz). It has large eyes, a big head, a short neck, and broad wings. Its bill is short, strong, hooked and black. Its plumage is mottled tawny to brown with a barred tail and wings. The upper breast is significantly streaked. Its flight is characteristically floppy due to its irregular wingbeats. The short-eared owl may also be described as "moth or bat-like" in flight. Wingspans range from 85 to 110 cm (33 to 43 in). Females are slightly larger than males. The yellow-orange eyes of A. flammeus are exaggerated by black rings encircling each eye, giving the appearance of them wearing mascara, and large, whitish disks of plumage surrounding the eyes like a mask." From Wikipedia.

"Short-eared Owls are one of few North American owl species that can be sexed easily by plumage colouration. Females (above) have pale brown undersides with heavy dark vertical barring. Their facial discs are also washed with the same pale brown. Males (above) have nearly white undersides and paler facial discs. The barring is usually lighter and less dense." From the Owl Foundation.

Ferret Josiane, Jan Klimczak, Martin Humphreys, Fiona Michea // Arts Photographiques and 2 other people have particularly liked this photo

6 comments - The latest ones
Pam J
Pam J
A real Beauty !
2 years ago.
une image fantastique
2 years ago.
Anne Elliott
Anne Elliott
Pam, Pierre and Anne-Marie, thank you so much!
2 years ago.
Martin Humphreys
Martin Humphreys
Great capture .. well done.
2 years ago.
Jan Klimczak
Jan Klimczak
Polowała i pozowała i jest piękna!
2 years ago.
Ferret Josiane
Ferret Josiane
jolie prise
vu et admiré sur on explore
2 years ago.