Short-eared Owls

February 8, 2017 at 8:08 am (Birds - Oklahoma, Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography) (, , )

Short-eared owl

Short-eared owl

I didn’t get a chance to post my photographs from my January  2 visit to Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area in southwest Oklahoma. I flew to Seattle two days later, and did some of the photo editing while there.

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The short-eared owl, which is a winter bird in Oklahoma, is a life bird for me (number 461) and I would have missed them if another birder had not told me there was about a dozen of them hunkered down in the tall grass by the visitor center.

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I had no idea an owl species would roost in tall grass, though I knew about the tiny burrowing owl that nests in burrows.

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When I walked in the field, I flushed about eight of them at once. Eight! And they were huge!

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They were also noisy and their calls of indignation very un-owllike. Listen for yourself at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website.

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Some even circled around me and glared as if I were guilty of interrupting an important meeting.

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Needless to say, it was a photographer’s dream.

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A northern harrier (female or juvenile, I don’t know which) decided to play with one of the owls.

Northern harrier and short-eared owl

Northern harrier and short-eared owl

They just taunted each other, but nothing came of it.

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I’ll post the other birds in the next few days: American bittern, northern harrier, kestrel, merlin, and some smaller birds. The ducks were too far away for decent photography. Hackberry Flat is a great spot for winter birding!

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

 

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