Juvenile Short Eared Owl

Last year in July 2016, I spent some time around the Promontory Mountains in Northern Utah. We were having an influx of Short Eared Owls during that time. They nested within the Sagebrush and grass. On one evening, while I was ready to drive home, I spotted this Juvenile Short Eared Owl, perched on the ground. I wasn’t sure if it was hurt or just hanging out; so, I hung out for a bit and photographed the Owl from my vehicle.

Angry Looking Short Eared Owl

While photographing it, the Owl would hear the clicking of the shutter, then turn it’s head towards my direction and cock it to each side, which turned out to be quite humorous.

During this time, the wind had been blowing off and on, which would result in Owl’s tufts appearing like ears above it’s head. It was near dark when these were photographed, so I had to use ISO1000 and 1/80 shutter speed. Finally, when there wasn’t enough light to photograph it, I went on my way and the owl flew off. It was a wonderful experience to witness this Juvenile learning to be on it’s own.

Short Eared Owl Portrait

Long Billed Curlew in Evening Light

Every Spring, the Long Billed Curlews can be heard across the valley of the Great Basin in Northern/Western Utah. If you can hear their calls, then they’re either flying over head or wandering around somewhere nearby.

I photographed this curlew during Golden Hour as this one and it’s mate were foraging for food in the grass. For a moment, it stood tall, before going back to hiding in the grass.

I haven’t been out to take pictures since last week due to a tooth infection that started last Friday and by Monday, I was at the dentist getting it pulled. It’s the day after and my face is miserable. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back out before vacation is over.

Burrowing Owl Perched on Wood in a Field of Grass

In May I took a few hour drive through Northern Utah and while driving on a dusty dirt road, I spotted this Burrowing Owl perched on a wooden stake. The light was quite harsh,  but thankfully, the Owl was positioned just right to avoid the shadows.

You never know what you’re going to find when driving through the country side. While it may take a bit of time to get to where you’re going, the end result makes it worth it. Except for a car plastered in dead mosquitoes.

Burrowing Owl

This Day, One Year Ago

This day, one year ago, I photographed several Short Eared Owls hanging out around the Golden Spike area. The two following images were my favorites out of all the images.

Short Eared Owl Mid-Day

The below image was photographed as the sun was dipping below the mountains behind me. The glow gave a nice over all color to the scene, despite being low light and with good catch light in the Owl’s eye.

Short Eared Owl at Twilight

Owls are my favorite bird of prey. They blend in well with habitat and for the most part are stealthy fliers.

Just Another Burrowing Owl

I forgot about this image, photographed last Monday in the middle of nowhere. Actually, not in the middle of nowhere, but driving to get there, feels like it. Up at Golden Spike there are several pairs of nesting Burrowing Owls and they can often be seen perched on the fences that line the side of the roads. Burrowing owls are usually skittish, but sometimes you get the one that doesn’t seem bothered by your car’s presence, like this one.

Swainson’s Hawk in Low Light

Last week, while driving around in Northern Utah, I saw this Swainson’s Hawk perched on this wooden pole. The light was pretty low as the sun had already set below the mountains; but I didn’t want to leave without getting at least one decent image, of a beautiful hawk I rarely get to see.

Swainson's Hawk

Burrowing Owls on a Monday Evening

I took a drive to an area by Golden Spike National Monument in search of Owls. I saw several Burrowing Owls and 2 Short Eared Owls; however, was only able to photograph the Burrowing Owls. The first image was photographed under harsh evening light and the second was after the sun had dipped below the mountain’s horizon creating even low-light.