Barn Owl

This was the best of both worlds for me. While I’ve been primarily a nature/wildlife shooter my photography lately has been focused on urban decay. So while we were exploring an abandoned power plant in East St. Louis two barn owls were inside and started flying around. It was dark and hard to focus but I was able to snap a few shots of these magnificent raptors in flight inside the building. Next time I’ll be prepared.

Barn Owl in a turn

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They grow up so fast…

Since I had a day off I went over to Blackburn Park in Webster Groves to see the young owls while they are still hanging around the nest. Two of them were in the trees while the youngest was still in the nest. It was so much fun watching them soaking up the sun and testing their wings. Mom was close by keeping watch on them. It won’t be long before the youngest is out of the tree with its siblings.

Last one in the nest//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Fledged Owl//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Fledged Great Horned Owl//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Owlet!

Was given a tip about some baby owls over in Blackburn Park in Webster Groves. I let some friends know who live nearby and they were able to get lots of shots. Finally I was able to go over and see them for myself. This little guy is the largest of the three and was in the branch above the nest. The other two were hiding in the hollow. They are just so cute and it is wonderful to see these youngsters getting ready to fledge completely.

Getting ready to fledge//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

The Trio//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Who!

As I was pulling up to the house tonight there was a Barred Owl sitting on the fence! I ran inside to get my camera and went back out to get some shots. It was really getting dark so the ISO is quite high and I was shooting handheld with the 100-400. After firing off a whole lot of shots I ran back in to get my 100mm 2.8 macro lens. That helped as the light got even worse but out of a couple hundred shots I got some keepers. I’ve really been wanting to get some owl shots in the wild. Just didn’t expect it to be in the backyard. He didn’t seem to mind me taking the photos either. I was able to get within around six feet of him but I backed off and let him be. He’s still out there now an hour later.

Barred Owl on a fence//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

#owl
#nature
#wildlife
#canon
#illinois

Attack!

Had to go watch the Peregrines one last time. The chicks are fledgling and those of us watching them aren’t sure how much longer they will be around. The parents are still quite protective of them. Got some action shots today of the adults attacking some turkey vultures that were getting just a bit too close to the nest. Wish I could have gotten some sharper and cleaner images but they move so fast and the lighting wasn’t good at all. None the less it was amazing to watch them in action.

Attack!

Closing

#birds #bird #peregrinefalcons #raptors #illinois #midwest #nature #canon

The Hunter

As much as I enjoy hawks and being able to get some shots like this in the backyard I wish this hawk would go away. We don’t get any little birds in the backyard anymore as this one is always hunting them. We used to go through sacks and sacks of bird food during the winter but not anymore. The feeder on the side of the house hasn’t been touched in over a week.

10 Jan 15 Hawk

#raptor #birdofprey #nature #bird #birds #nature #illinois #canon