Great Horned Owls

The rest of the cast to the morning of “Brown Owls. After we located and photographed several pairs of Barred Owls, we switched to try and find Great Horned Owls.  We found two different pairs.  The first pair we believe the female was on the nest of getting ready to nest, so we photographed the Male. We did not want to pull her off the eggs if she already had laid them so we left after one launch series.

PBKJ5434-FrameShop The LaunchPBKJ5436-FrameShop PBKJ5437-FrameShop PBKJ5438-FrameShop Batman!  I usually don’t post wildlife photos where you can’t see the eyes, but I liked this wing position.PBKJ5439-FrameShop PBKJ5440-FrameShop PBKJ5447-FrameShop PBKJ5476-FrameShop PBKJ5508-FrameShop FlyoverPBKJ5532-FrameShop

The second pair that found and answered the female was on eggs so no photos and we left.

Next up to edit is my beloved American Bald Eagles.

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Life is good and I am blessed!

Kent

Chasing Brown Owls with Mike F

A true friend and great photographer agreed to take me out to some of the local owls to his area.  It was really special for him to trust me with his secret locations, let alone share a ton of his “Owl Whispering” Knowledge.  There are guides that get $400 a day for this kind of in field session.  I am guessing I am way less of a threat now that I am 1000 miles away.  This morning of Brown Owls will be forever in my memories as one of my top 10 days photographing wildlife.

This time of year both Barred Owls and Great Horned Owls are paired up and ready to nest and lay eggs.  Owls mate for life and once you find their den tree or nest you should be able to find them year after year.

I went out on Day 1 with another photographer Robert, but it was so windy we couldn’t get any owls to answer or show themselves.

Saturday morning was way different.  We found and photographed 3 pairs of Barred Owls and 2 pairs of Great Horned Owls.

Lets meet the cast for the next 2 or 3 post, as I have some many full-frame keepers I don’t want to rush the editing.

Barred OwlPBKJ5256-FrameShop

Great Horned OwlPBKJ5476-FrameShopEven though Mike and Robert know areas where the owls hang out there is never a guarantee that you will be able to find them.

Here is a full-frame of a barred owl, can you find him?PBKJ5248-FrameShopHow about the first Great Horned Owl?KJ5D3150-FrameShopHope to have some launch series and flight shots edited in the next day or two.  After I get caught up on Owl edits, I’ll switch over and work on some Eagles, but I have 1400 plus eagles shots to process.  I might have been a little trigger happy knowing this was my one and only eagle trip of winter 2015/2016 Eagles.

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Life is good and I am blessed!

Kent

Great Horned Owls

A good friend (Mike) had done all the work and has already found three different Great Horned Owl (GHO) nests.  He invited me to tag along this morning.  After seeing the killer shots he has been getting, getting up at 3:45 AM to make the drive and be there at first light was no problem.  Funny I struggle on mornings to get up some morning for work, but yet I can get up before the alarm when it is fun!

We got to the first nest and saw both parents, but no clear shots.  I could only see the little white tuft of a babies head.  I was working to get a better angle, and Mike said, come on, it only gets better!

So off we went to GHO nest #2.  This nest is in a small town in Iowa and the owls were not bothered by people at all.  Could have photographed them out the car window.  The nest was back lit and lighting was tough!

PBKJ1294-FrameShop

The father owl was watching the nest.  I have no way of knowing but Mike knows these owls and said the mother is larger.  Mike said this was his favor perch.PBKJ1308-FrameShop

Different angle with better lightPBKJ1269-FrameShop

On we went to the third nest.  Mike stated that this pair of owls has been nesting in the same area for the last three season.  Mike was able to call them right in.  He has yet to find the nest because the owls were in protective mode and kept flying and trying to lead us away.

This male was way more vocal, and looked skinnier too.PBKJ1356-FrameShopHe kept calling and then flying to his next perch about every 5 minutes.  I missed 3 or 4 chances at flight shots.  Finally when he lit on a clear branch, I just locked on him and wasn’t going to take an eye out of the camera until he launched.

PBKJ1455-FrameShop PBKJ1457-FrameShop PBKJ1459-FrameShopFinally, three keeper flight shots, owls flying through the trees are way harder than eagles in wide open skies.

Not sure what will get in front of my lens next, but I can finally cross GHO off my list!  A once in a lifetime experience.  I think part of the reason Mike invited me is he knows I am moving to Texas in the next month and won’t be around to put extra pressure on his nest locations!

Life is good and I am blessed!
Kent

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