Friday, December 16, 2011

Short Eared Owl... Just by Chance

 Are you kidding me??? Last weekend's Owl search came up short, so I figured I would try again today after work. An ont-birds posting this week mentioned Short Eared Owls (on Amherst Island) starting to hunt at 3:30 pm, so that gave me some insight on these diurnal birds. I realized last weeks' trip may have been poorly timed with an early afternoon drive.  So, I left work early and drove out to the county to an area described by a birder I met at the Hawk Festival earlier in the fall.
I didn't think I would see this bird, but a hovering Northern Harrier caught my attention near the edge of the road, so I tried taking some photos. I'm glad I did, because they were initially very blurry. I adjusted the aperture and ISO to deal with the poor, cloudy, late-afternoon light. A few moments after photographing the Harrier, I start to drive away and a second raptor starts flying from the left side of the road to the right. I snapped a few photos, not really knowing what I was looking at, and sure enough, this blunt-faced raptor was what I've been looking for!

Other birds seen were HUGE flocks of Brown headed Cowbirds, one or two American Kestrels, and whispy flocks of birds that I tried photographing. They were almost invisible to the eye, but on occasion, they would be visible for a moment and I tried to photograph them. My best guess (see photo below) might be Snow Buntings?

Well, I have an exam tomorrow afternoon, so I have to get back to studying!!!

May your weekend be birdy!


PS: An odd note, this is the fourth Owl species I found/photographed... while sitting in my car!!! Should I start a car list???? :-)

Lifer Summary: #289 Short eared Owl


  1. Glad you got to see it... That looks like one plump mouse or mole the Ketrel got!

  2. Nice find! See what happens when you get outside!!

  3. Kestrel, Short-eared and Snow Buntings



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