Bubo virginianus Profile

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Great Horned Owls can reach a weight of about 5 1/2 pounds and can take prey up to 3 times their weight.  They are very prominent in most of North America and can have up to a 5 foot wingspan.

While at the Ridgefield NWR, July 3, 2015, I was slowly driving the auto tour road and was about to enter the Ash tree forest.  Suddenly, in front of me, a large bird flew from a tree branch to my left, downward to the right edge of the road in an attempt to catch something.  It immediately flew back up to where it came from.  Thinking at first it was a hawk, I drove ahead to the point where I could see the bird out the driver’s window.  Surprise overtook me when I saw it was a Great Horned Owl–which I hadn’t seen at this end of the forest for quite some time.  I grabbed the camera and reduced shutter speed a couple of stops due to the low forest light.  The bird was probably less than 18 feet away and the top half of the bird filled the frame.  I got only four shots before the bird flew behind me.  I don’t know if it actually caught its prey or not.  I ended up with a nice profile image of this beauty–likely one of the baby owls from last year.

VIEW LARGE

Canon 7D Mark II, 1/320, f5.6, ISO 500, 700mm, 10:50 a.m.

Posted in

Great Horned Owls can reach a weight of about 5 1/2 pounds and can take prey up to 3 times their weight.  They are very prominent in most of North America and can have up to a 5 foot wingspan.

While at the Ridgefield NWR, July 3, 2015, I was slowly driving the auto tour road and was about to enter the Ash tree forest.  Suddenly, in front of me, a large bird flew from a tree branch to my left, downward to the right edge of the road in an attempt to catch something.  It immediately flew back up to where it came from.  Thinking at first it was a hawk, I drove ahead to the point where I could see the bird out the driver’s window.  Surprise overtook me when I saw it was a Great Horned Owl–which I hadn’t seen at this end of the forest for quite some time.  I grabbed the camera and reduced shutter speed a couple of stops due to the low forest light.  The bird was probably less than 18 feet away and the top half of the bird filled the frame.  I got only four shots before the bird flew behind me.  I don’t know if it actually caught its prey or not.  I ended up with a nice profile image of this beauty–likely one of the baby owls from last year.

VIEW LARGE

Canon 7D Mark II, 1/320, f5.6, ISO 500, 700mm, 10:50 a.m.

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