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Where's the Owl?

Wildlife photography offers its own set of challenges. From lighting to location to rapidly changing conditions and subjects who don't take direction well (really, not at all!), getting the right shot requires an ever changing combination of being in the right place at the right time and getting the settings correct - often with no warning. When I went looking for a Great Horned Owl nest over the weekend, I'd been told which trail to hike, but not much else. Knowing how well camouflaged owls can be, I was grateful to find a friendly birder on the trail who pointed me to the correct tree. Even knowing which tree contained the nest (and Mama Owl), it was hard to see her. Can you find Mama Owl in this pic? It's already zoomed in quite a bit - we were about 150 meters back from the nest so as not to disturb her.

Did you find her? Now imagine how hard she'd be to find from a respectful distance. Here's a closeup taken with my longest lens and cropped in further during editing.

"Eye See You!"

Mama (and hopefully her eggs that will hatch into cute owlets soon) are well protected by nature. Papa Owl stays in the area and watches over her, often bringing food to her while she keeps the family safe and hidden. Isn't he gorgeous?

(Taken from a great distance so we don't disturb the owls and risk their health and safety) I can't wait to see if any fuzzy little owlets make an appearance in the spring. Stay tuned!

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