My brother Gary, and I met at the Ridgefield NWR refuge at about 6 a.m. this morning, June 12, 2015. Our first trip around the auto tour loop netted us a great look at our resident mama Great Horned Owl (although we’ve not seen any evidence of owlets yet this year). She was perched about 50 feet up–almost straight up–but with no branches or leaves concealing her. The dark shade of the trees required a relatively slow shutter speed, which was not a problem since she was about as static as a bird can be. Through the viewfinder, I really couldn’t see if she was looking at me or not due to the darkness–but I’m so glad she did!
Canon 5D Mark III, 1/200, f4, ISO 1250, 500mm, 6:49 a.m.
6 thoughts on “Eye to Eye”
This is an absolutely stunning image! If I got one like this in all the pictures I ever take, I’d think that I died and went to heaven. We’ve only seen this owl a few times, and only once close enough to get a “decent” image (but nothing in comparison to yours). Was this at about marker 5 or 6 (just when you first get to see the parking area and observation blind area ahead of you)?
Fred, thanks for your kind comment! This (mama) owl has been a resident of the Ash tree forest, between markers 8 and 10, for many years. We are so lucky that she sticks around and raises new owls almost every year, many of which we get to watch grow up. It doesn’t appear she has a new family this year though. This picture was taken just prior to post 10. I have many photos of her in my raptors gallery. Her identity can be verified by a spot in her left eye (bottom left), which this photo doesn’t show because her eyes aren’t open wide enough. The owl we sometimes see between markers 5 & 6, to the right, is a different owl.
Excellent job Scott!
Lovely shot Dennis – such a difference when they’re awake!
Thanks, Tony, for the comment!