Great Gray Owls

Discussion in 'Nature Photography' started by Len Backus, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    Crow mag's Barred Owls reminded me of my trip to northern Minnesota 2 winters ago. There was an irruption of owls, pushed south from Canada by a shortage of natural food, namely small rodents. Jack and I spent 3 days there. Each morning it was 40 degrees below when we left the motel in the dark. It never got above 20 below during the day.



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    Being compassionate fellows, during a mid-day lull we drove 40 miles to a Petco store to buy some food for the owls. Coincidentally, this helped our photo efforts tremendously.:)

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  2. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    Len,
    You nailed that shot of the bird coming straight at the camera, wings out stretched. Great job. They are all fine images, you have a touch.
    Thanks for sharing.
     

  3. jeffbird

    jeffbird Well-Known Member

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    Did you use live or frozen snacks?
     
  4. yotefever

    yotefever Well-Known Member

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    Great pics Len.
    I remember that year, I didn't do any distress calls at night, all you heard were owls in all directions. I didn't want any to come down and visit me. So I just howled away /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
    Does your camera have a delay from when you snap the button to when the pic is actually taken? Sure does make getting action shots tuff with these digital cameras.
    Hope you don't mind if I post a couple of pics from last week. One is an action shot the other an after shot shot.
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  5. Mountainsheep

    Mountainsheep Well-Known Member

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    Very impressive pictures! Thanks for sharing

    Dave
     
  6. Triggernosis

    Triggernosis Well-Known Member

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    Len,
    Wow on those grey owl pix. Those grey owls look like "old men of the forest" to me.
     
  7. coupalr

    coupalr Well-Known Member

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    There are more Snowy owls and Barn owls up here this year than I have seen in a few years.

    Those are some great pictures.
     
  8. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    I really bet those little mice thought yall were "compassionate fellows"
     
  9. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    jeff, live. They started freezing soon after we set them out. If the owl didn't come in 10 minutes they slowed down to almost no movement.

    yote, my camera shoots at 5 frames per second and there is no shutter lag.

    By the way, the owls' senses are amazing. We had set out a mouse for an owl at a 12 o'clock location from us. We had noticed a second owl off to our left in a tree but it was at least 300 yards away so we ignored it (too far away). When we were watching the first owl through the viewfinders of our cameras, the owl off to our left swooped in and grabbed our mouse without us being prepared to get the shot.

    A white mouse on white snow at 300 yards!
     
  10. 41mag

    41mag Well-Known Member

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    Those are some very beautiful pic's, no matter how you slice them. THe one of the incoming owl with the yellow blazing eyes is very deep to say the least. Thanks for posting them.

    I once looked over my shoulder, while sitting at the base of a small tree at our farm, as a great horned owl came past literally sideways to avoid hitting the tree I was sitting under, on his way to disrupt the breakfast of a fox squirrel. The amazing part was that he was so close to me as he passed. He couldn't have been more than a foot higher than my head, with his wingtip. Wakes you up really fast to look up and see two fist sized orange talons and what looks like a brown bush coming at you at seemingly mach 2.

    yotefever,
    Nice pair of Eagles. Very powerful birds indeed.
    I also know what you mean about the squeeler, found that out the hard way as well. Also with an owl hoot, they are sometimes very territorial and will want to run the opposition off no matter how big you are.

    One other tidbit, don't go tromping through the woods at night wearing a sock hat with one of those white fuzzy's on the top either. Your just asking for a very unpleasant encounter. (white mouse at 300yds) Never tried that one myself, but always remember it as the fellow who explained it to me learned the hard way.
     
  11. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    [ QUOTE ]

    Wakes you up really fast to look up and see two fist sized orange talons and what looks like a brown bush coming at you at seemingly mach 2.

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    Had same experience, only with a golden eagle /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif Which BTW I haven't seen any of in years.

    Me thinks Elmer took them with him.
     
  12. älg

    älg Well-Known Member

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    Very nice pics Len. Birds of prey are amazing. Your feeding the owls becoming a help for the pics is of course not a coincidence.. they can easily sense where they can be helped for food .
     
  13. Artpro

    Artpro Well-Known Member

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    I've used the picture of the one flying diretly at the camera as background on my computer. It reminds me of a face to face experience I once had in the pine forest of Central Oregon. Them buggers have 6 foot wingspan.
     
  14. LDHunter

    LDHunter Well-Known Member

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    Len,

    Excellent photography! Thanks... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif

    $bob$