There are some large cottonwood trees East of our house that have
had a bird nest for years. In 2005, we saw some Great Horned owls
nesting there (see bottom pictures) ... but a few years later,
the nest was taken over by some
I didn't see any action in 2009, but in 2010, the
Great Horned Owls came back to the nest - perhaps the next generation! ;-)
And if you want to see some really close-up pictures and video of birds,
check out these House Finches!
Lost the light, but there are two owlets in this double pixel crop
April 10th: Lousy light, but shooting from a deck closer to the owl nest Saw the owl jump from the nest - first time outa there ... and certainly two owlets
April 13th: Pictures from under tree are closer, but much more vertical First shot is in the morning looking West, second is evening looking East Owlets aren't quite big enough (or looking over) to see from this angle - watch video Mouseover images to see closeups
May 5th: Momma Owl in nearby tree, but no owlets in nest - they have fledged!
Closeup of Momma Owl perched on tree - mouseover image to see another view
Momma Owl flying eastbound to another set of Cottonwood Trees
A magpie jumps off the top of a tree
May 9th: Momma Owl with one of her owlets in a nearby cottenwood tree
Mom takes flight
But the owlet just stayed there and eyeballs the cameraman
May 12th: After a late snowfall
On May 19th, my wife and I went for a morning walk and had a fantastic
viewing of the owl family under glorious sunny skies. Unfortunately,
I didn't bring my tripod and external microphone, so the two videos
I took (here and here) were hand-held and pretty shakey - it tough with a 400mm lens!
It took us a considerable amount
of time to very slowly walk up (and circle around for good light) to the
perched owlets to minimize disturbing
them and they seemed fine with our presence - one never flew away.
After taking pictures for a while, they chirped back at me ...
as if mimicking the sound of the camera shutter! ;-)
May 19th: We spot the owlets and a parent backlit on a branch
The parent (Mom?) got bored and decided to fly away leaving the two backlit owlets
After circling around for good light - Brotherly love among Owlet Siblings!
Probably the favorite picture of the over 300 I took that day!
One smiles for the camera while the other says whatever!
Stepping back for a bit of a wide-angle view
Both owlets just hung out on the branch for quite time as we slowly walked around/under 'em
Owlet blinks at me - mouseover image to see mouths open
Parent Owl in a nearby cottonwood
Parent owls takes flight - too bad wasn't coming at the camera
Use the controls to play, step, pause, slow-down, and/or speed-up the animation.
... loading images ...
Never got a really good picture of an owl flying - it happens so quick
One owlet finally flew away too ... but this one never left the hour plus we were there
Owlet with open mouth - mouseover both sets of images to see 'em chirp
Wendy looks up at the Owlet who looks down at her
Owlet is almost perched on Wendy's shoulder!
2005 pictures of Great Horned Owls in the nest - previous generation?!? ;-)
Many of the 2010 pictures were taken from a football field distance away - April 9th, 2010
Picture from May 5th, 2010 - Owl Nest Cottonwood Tree isn't doing so well
These pictures were taken with a
Canon 7D DSLR with a 400mm lens plus 1.4x and 2.x tele-extenders ... i.e. that's a
35mm equivelent of a 1280mm telephoto lens with 18 megapixels on target!
Unfortunately, I need
all that since I'm about a football field distance away (literally) because
of the vertical angle to see the owlets, especially when they were small.
Manual focus is required which is
challenging with all that reach (even though mounted on a tripod, the smallest
touch or wind causes the image to jiggle), but fortunately, the nest doesn't move.
Too bad I can't get inches away like this
The 2005 pictures were taken with a Sony F828 digicam that maxed out at
200mm zoom, but shot from just below the tree.