Friday, June 29, 2007

Barred Owls Hunting!

OK, so my wife and I just spent the last 20 minutes watching the 3 immature Barred Owls attempt to catch a squirrel that was feeding on the ground under our bird feeders. At first the squirrel seemed to pay no attention to the one owl that was about 12 feet off the ground and right next to our deck (about 20 feet from the squirrel). We watched the owl watch the squirrel. Eventually the owl swooped out of the tree and down after the squirrel. He missed. Then he tried again from a different spot. Then the second owl made his attempt and also missed. By this point the third owl is in the mix and they attempted to "corner" the squirrel on the tree. Honestly they never really got that close with the exception of the very first attempt. You can tell they are still a bit awkward in flight compared to the adults, but they were trying their best. :)

We were watching these owls learn how to hunt! How cool is that?!

Right after all three attempted to corner the squirrel the each in turn landed on a downed tree on the ground. I just took these shots a few minutes ago. They are both taken at ISO 3200/f5.6 and 1/30 of second hand-held. They are heavily cropped, pretty noisy, and definitely blurry. However, this was a really cool moment for both my wife and I and it's worth sharing here. I hope you all enjoy it as well.

The Three:
Barred Owl Three

The Two:
Barred Owl Two

Here's another shot I took this morning:
Barred Owl - Owlets