Tag Archives: short-eared owl

Struggling to Get the Owls

My Skagit trip was primarily looking for geese, but I was also going to see whether the short-eared owls were back out and about.  I ended up in East 90 again which has a solid reputation for the owls.  As I pulled up, various other raptors were flying very close by, so I knew the chances of seeing stuff were going to be good.  Unfortunately, the owls were not playing ball.  There were loads of them flying but they seemed to have staked out their interests further across the fields and away from the road.  The northern harriers were the ones close by.  The owls seemed to be wheeling about each other off in the distance so I had to make do with longer range images of them and get some of the other residents instead.

Another Owl Encounter (By Accident)

Nancy and I had made a trip up to La Conner for lunch one weekend.  Having previously had a chance to see some owls up on the Skagit Flats previously, I decided to go back there again on our way home.  I went to the same spot and saw a ton of people but not a lot of wildlife.  I wasn’t going to make Nancy hang around waiting to see if anything showed up so we headed on our way.  The route to the road home is along a couple of narrow roads and, as we went down one of them, we saw a shape at the side of the road.

I stopped and backed up the road because a short-eared owl was sitting on a post right next to the road.  All of the people were waiting about half a mile away and this owl was just sitting here.  I didn’t want to spook it so I pulled up near it and then snuck around the back of the car to get the camera from the trunk to see if I could get a shot before it took off.

This I managed but the owl didn’t seem terribly bothered by me being there.  I got more confident stepping out to get shots and it just stayed where it was looking for something to eat.  I was behind it and it was looking left and right but, if I moved, it would turn its head to look directly at me.  I got a few stills and then switched to shooting some video.  The same thing with its motion.  I had to make some more dramatic moves to get it to look directly at me before it lost interest and went back to checking for prey.

Eventually, we decided to leave it alone and drove along the road again.  We had barely gone a quarter of a mile when we found another owl on the power lines.  This one was a bit more twitchy about my presence.  I managed to get a few shots of it but it flew off quickly.  There was a harrier nearby at the same time so things got a little busy but, much as we were trying to go home, the wildlife was intent on providing a reason for us to stay around.