Over the years of travel across Alaska, I’ve watched many short-eared owls hunting and flying over the tundra landscape. They are artful flyers, often visible in the treeless environment in which they roam. On a trip last week however, I had the first really good opportunity to photograph an owl, that did not seem to mind my close proximity. Furthermore, it made many funny twisting gestures with its neck as those yellow eyes seemed to pierce mine. I took the photo at about 10:00pm under the arctic sunshine, and a nice back-lit rim light surrounds the bird offering pleasant contrast. It is a tight frame in the landscape orientation but by the time I switched to vertical to give more room above the bird’s head, it lowered it’s neck and I much prefer this inquisitive stance.
For those who can appreciate the world of “almosts” in photographing wildlife, here is a shot that I so wish was in focus. It was a hopeless grab shot effort, and would have been quite nice if my focal targeting had been accurate. All in all, I captured some nice images of birds that were not only new to my eyes, but also got some good images of a variety of birds that I’ll be sharing in future posts, including the amazing King Eider.