A Couple Of Interesting Barn Owl Images

Each of these photos has something just a little bit different about it, at least in my collection of Barn Owl images.

 

1/60, f/7.1, ISO 640, Canon 7D, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM, not baited, set up or called in

I photographed this Barn Owl family back in July of 2011 as they perched inside an old trailer used for storing junk on Antelope Island. If I remember correctly there was one more youngster out of frame that can’t be seen.

It’s almost unheard of for me to photograph more than one Barn Owl in the same image so for me this opportunity was quite unique. I like the owls against the black background and even those ugly old green metal pipes appeal to me because they’re so heavily whitewashed they reek of acceptance by the birds.

As you can see from my camera techs it was quite dark inside the trailer so the owls felt secure and were completely undisturbed by my presence inside my pickup.

 

 

1/1250, f/5.6, ISO 640, Canon 7D, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

I captured this Barn Owl in flight in April of that same year at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. It’s one of the very few times I’ve ever photographed this species with significant amounts of blood on its almost pristine white face.

The diet of Barn Owls consists almost entirely of small mammals (mice and voles along with the occasional shrew or bat) that are swallowed whole so a noticeable amount of blood from prey is nearly always a missing commodity in my photos. But this one had the lower portion of its facial disc smeared with blood. Perhaps this owl is just a sloppy eater or maybe its last meal was a slightly larger bird that had to be consumed piecemeal. On those relatively rare occasions when they do prey on birds they’re known to nip their heads off before swallowing the rest of the body and that could have been the source of the blood.

If we ever have a winter around here (recent temps have broken all-time records for heat) our Barn Owls may soon start flying and hunting again during daytime. I always have mixed feelings when that happens because when they hunt in daylight it often means they’re stressed for lack of food.

But I sure love seeing and photographing them in flight.

Ron

 

 

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