We had some more fun with the family of Burrowing Owls this morning. There are two adults and at least seven chicks. Some of the youngsters have been banded, which may be good for the owls but it isn’t particularly good for photography so I was happy to see that this one wasn’t wearing any jewelry.
1/2000, f/6.3, ISO 640, 500 f/4
One of the adult birds spent much of the morning perched on sagebrush to the left of this one and occasionally one of the youngsters would come in and land close by. I was pleasantly surprised by the eye contact in this image. Usually they’re looking down at this point in the landing process but I think a slight headwind gave this bird time enough to glance up at my pickup just to make sure we continued to be no threat. In the very next frame the owl was beginning to look down at its landing spot on the sage.
I love the very early morning light on these owls but especially on the juveniles. The tradeoff is that ISO 640 is pushing it for my Canon 7D but I always like to have good shutter speed when an opportunity like this suddenly appears. I had taken off my tc but still barely fit the owl in the frame. The upper background is a distant sandbar and sloping shoreline of the Great Salt Lake.
1/1600, f/6.3, ISO 640, 500 f/4
I was able to get five sharp shots as this owl was coming in. My favorite of the sequence is the first image in this post but I thought I’d include the last one of the series to show the bird just before contact with the sage. After that I lost focus on the owl and got a nice sharp shot of the lake shoreline…