Pat Hatch's PhotoJournal

And Then There Were Two

Mom babysitting her two "branchers"

I think I can safely say there are only two surviving hatchlings.  I'm not sure what happened to #3, but I suspect it had some kind of problem and perished.  No sign of a carcass anywhere, though.  So this was the scenario today when I arrived at the oak tree:  mom up high and above the two "branchers" (as they are officially called now that they have ventured out of the nest).

The owls were just too far apart to get them all in focus in this shot. I went to as high an f-stop as I could with the slowest shutter speed, but the 400mm focal length just did not allow for a great enough depth of field. But I put it up just to give an idea of the general layout of the owl family in the oak tree. Here are the two babies up close:

I'll call these guys O-1 and O-2

And another one:

O-1 on the left is definitely larger, probably a few days older than O-2.

And a couple more of mom:

Mom appears none too pleased to see me.

I was using the "Better Beamer" flash attachment today and it really fills the shadows nicely. The sun was pretty high in the sky and there were a lot of shadows. The Better Beamer really lights up the owl's retinas and that's why the pupils appear reddish in places. In a couple of cases it was so intense that I had to Photoshop the "red-eye" completely out.

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Owl Update

Here's today's submission. The babies are getting bigger. Don't know where #3 was today, perhaps napping. Still haven't gotten all three hatchlings together yet.Babbies are about 3 weeks.

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