Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 03/20/2016

Photo taken on March 15, 2016

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Strix nebulosa
Great Grey Owl
Great Gray Owl
Anne Elliott
© All Rights Reserved
NW of Calgary
© Anne Elliott 2016
15 March 2016
front view
bird of prey
on top of small coniferous tree

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Surveying its territory

Surveying its territory
Five days ago, on 15 March 2016, I drove NW of Calgary again, hoping that maybe one of the Great Gray Owls might just be seen. When I arrived, a car was pulled over at the side of the road and the occupants were photographing an owl. It was hidden from my view by a group of bushes and I only saw it when it flew over to the distant trees. This particular photo was taken a bit later, after watching the owl hunt for a while. I am sure I would never have spotted the owl in this setting, if I hadn't seen it fly, as it was a long way away and the owl blended in with its surroundings at a distance.

I hadn't been sure whether to do such a long drive that day (roughly 250 km round trip) as the weather forecast wasn't exactly the best. Just after I left home, a few snowflakes fell for maybe five minutes, but not enough to settle. When I got closer to my destination, the roads were snow-covered and not very pleasant to drive on. However, I'm glad I did decide to go, as I did get to see this owl on several different trees while it hunted. Eventually, it flew off into the forest and didn't return.

"Although the Great Gray Owl is the tallest American owl with the largest wingspan, it is just a ball of feathers. It preys on small mammals and has relatively small feet. Both the Great Horned and Snowy owls weigh half again as much, and have larger feet and talons. The oldest recorded Great Gray Owl was at least 18 years, 9 months old and lived in Alberta." From AllAboutBirds.

The following night, we had a bit of proper snow - March does tend to be the snowiest month here. The temperature is -1C early this morning, but it is supposed to soar to +14C this afternoon, just like yesterday, when I was out with friends for the day, birding in the Frank Lake area.

I Holzi, Les's Photography AKA aligeeach, Daniel Palacin and 2 other people have particularly liked this photo

excellent ...
2 years ago.
Anne Elliott
Anne Elliott
Thank you all so much!
2 years ago.