A look back at a gorgeous fledgling Great Horned Owl at the Ridgefield NWR, May 4, 2011. This was when the resident momma owl was nesting in a tall stump right along the road on the 4-mile auto tour route of the refuge (this owl is perched away from its nest). It was good news for respectful photographers but bad news for the owls since some visitors/photographers took advantage of the nest location and would get way too close in hopes of a better view or a close up shot. A few years later, refuge management destroyed the rotted nesting tree to force the owls to choose a nesting location away from the road in the future. To this day, the momma owl can still be seen along the road at times.
Canon 7D, 1/1000, f5.6, ISO 400, 400mm, 1:17 p.m.