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Long Eared Owl Oregon Wildlife Photos by Coralie
Our weekend started off like others week ends. Wondering what we were going to do other then chores around the house.
Sunday came and we had to head to the dump like a lot of other people do at this time of the year.
Instead of going home and just hanging out, we went back out to the national grass lands stopping at several places.
One of our stops was at a creek bed that is mostly dried up at this time of the year, but not all the way.
Guys attention got onto something and of course mine was not there, and I wondered off down the dry creek bed.
The trees were green here due to the creek bed and I seam to get a lot of different insects getting drinks. The butterflies and dragonflies are something I like to get.
A couple of the dogs came with me, as one stayed behind with Guy.
We came upon more of these trees and thought I would check them out as the dogs were more then willing to check them out before I got there!
Something flew out of the tree and went so quick I did not see what it was, so further investigation under the tree canopy was a must!
The scat and feathers proved to be some kind of bird. I really like birds and needed to find out what bird was making this grove of trees home.
I found out!
I was quite tickled to see this owl. I have wanted to get shots of a owl, but unfortunately I do not do night time photography.
I like using the natural light of the day time. As some of you can guess, most of my photography is just that. I don't use any special nothing.
After the shots of this Long Eared Owl were taken I did my best to see where it flew off to. These owls are smart things! Using the trees to hide in, to fly on the other side of, and just basically to be sneaky! The so called ears are the way they are to make them look bigger to predators.
I feel the first one up there was young. Just because it did not know to be scared of us.
Now this one, this is a different story! I snapped off a couple shots and it took off flying;
This one just seamed older, wiser. No pun intended there!!
This next one allowed me a couple shots, but took off like a bolt of lightening too!
By now Guy and the dog who was with him showed up. All heck broke loose! We had Long Eared Owls flying everywhere!!
Quietly, swiftly they swooped and dived and went this way and went that way. I caught a couple of them flying....
Guy said he counted 15 Long Eared Owls. Guy told me there were more like 20! It was truly crazy there for a while!!
We were talking about all this after everything was said and done. The elder ones must of caused this chaos to protect the younger ones?? They seen us as a threat and this was their way of protecting the younger birds?
We decided to change our tactics as to not freak them out again. This is the last thing we want is for any wildlife to hurt themselves trying to get away for fear as taken over.
This tactic we used seam to do the trick. The dogs could care less about birds and they found a place in the shade to keep a eye on us and to cool down. I think if the dogs did care about birds, I would have asked Guy to take the dogs away. A bird dog would have went nuts and some of these owls flew low to the ground.
This next series is two birds. One photograph of one, then the next one was hidden pretty well and felt secure in the spot in the tree. You can see the owl move forwards as to take off flying, but settled back down when I stopped moving towards the tree in which it perched itself.
This next photograph shows how close to the ground these Long Eared Owls flew to the ground and you can see why I am very happy our dogs do not care about birds. These Long Eared Owls are not small birds. They are part of the larger owl family and you can see why.
Now this next bird, I just wished it would have stayed on this branch. BUT these are wild birds! I am fortunate these birds stayed long enough for me to get the snaps I did get!! I got several of him just checking me out. I put one photo up that is not the greatest, but it shows the owl looking for another spot, then the owl moved himself into a flying position, moving forwards on the branch. This is a sure tail sign of a big bird getting ready to fly and it did!
Now in this next series there are two birds here. They were VERY secure on the limb they were on and I did not do anything to scare them off. By this time Guy was just watching all the activity. You can look at the owls eyes, where they are looking to find out where Guy and the dogs are to me, the owls see me but they are paying attention to Guy and the dogs.
Do I still have you looking at photographs?? As I said there was quite a few Long Eared Owls in this spot and I did my best to capture the experience with my camera!! This next Long Eared Owl was intent on watching me. I snapped some off then left him alone.
By this time Guy has walked back to the truck, brought back water for us. I was making my way back out, but just had to snap off more photographs! Whe n is this ever going to happen again?? Each one of these birds are showing different behaviors, they are different birds and I am just really curious about each bird!
This next bird looked rather skinny to me..... When he flew he sure dint, but when he was just perched there he sure did! You can see where I had my lens right on him, but when he started looking around I pulled my lens as far out as it would go. You can see the owl looking around, then in the position to fly, then flying! If you are curious, I don't use auto on my lens. The manual I find easier to use. The auto feature just is not quick enough for me! I would be very upset if I lost a photo due to waiting on the auto feature of my camera!!
This last Long Eared Owl got me back for waking up his family. He scared the crap out of me!!
I was heading out and the last tree I was sure no one was in it, right? I walked in and this owl was right in my face! Heck my hands were tired, I was tired off grabbing ticks off me and thirsty and just ready to get out of this grove of trees and get to the truck. Guy and the dogs were already off and pretty much all loaded up in the truck! I happened to snap off one more photo....
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