Pat Hatch's PhotoJournal A blog about photography & other musings…

26Jan/100

3 Owlets – Maybe

Today was the first day that I have seen the female leave her nest unattended. I quickly went and got my gear and set up to capture the little ones. I was sure I would see them. But they have decided to keep us in suspense a while longer. Oh, I saw them alright, but only when they bobbed their heads up and down momentarily. Mother had apparently left strict instructions to lay low. So this was all I was able to get. I did see what I thought were three different heads bobbing and weaving, but I could be wrong. At least we know there are more than one.

One of three I saw today...

One of three I saw today...

There was quite a bit of activity today with both male and female flying back and forth, in and out of the oak tree. At one time, both were in the tree. The picture below is of the male, the smaller of the two. The female is generally about 10% larger than the male. He was giving me the evil eye, that menacing look that is intended to keep predators away from their young. I noticed that when they would arrive, there would be quite a bit of hooting back and forth, which would cause the hatchlings to get quite a bit more animated in the nest, as if they were anticipating getting fed.

This is the male...

This is the male...

Just as I was running out of light and had cranked the ISO up to 2000, in comes the mother right into my frame. I just held the shutter down and probably got 30 shots of her arrival and her moving about the nest. She basically just checked her young over for about 10 seconds and flew away again. Amazing!

...and this is the female perched over her young.

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