Barn Owl on a foggy morning

Barn Owl in flight panoBarn Owl in flight pano

Fog can add a moody feel to images and yesterday there was plenty of fog at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area. There were a few Barn Owls hunting for food and I captured images of this one as it flew towards me. The fog created the white background and there was just enough light to get a catch light in the eye.

Barn Owl flying in fog Barn Owl flying in fog

With the whites in the owl and the fog I fell fortunate that the owl’s form stands out subtly from the background.

Barn Owl in flight on a foggy morning Barn Owl in flight on a foggy morning

I love the almost heart-shaped facial disc that Barn Owls have. These images are shown in the order that I created them, after taking the image above the owl turned east and I lost sharp focus.

Barn Owl searching for its prey in the snowBarn Owl searching for its prey in the snow

I mentioned in my recent post “Barn Owls and Harsh Winters” that the owls here are struggling because of the bitter cold we have been experiencing and how the heavy snow on the ground makes it hard for the owls to locate prey and I wanted to share this image of the Barn Owl after it dove into the snow to locate prey. I wish the owl would have been facing us because I can’t be sure the owl did locate the prey through what looks to be 8-9 inches of snow that is still laying on the ground. When I blow this image way up I think I see traces of blood on the bill so maybe it did get the prey.

The owl was in the snow for over 5 minutes then it lifted off to rest on the side of a small hill, through my lens I could see this owl shivering, the temp was around 7 degrees Fahrenheit. Over the next few days temperatures are going to be warming here and even though some snow is predicted to fall I am hoping the warmer temps will melt some of the snow and make it easier for the Barn Owls to locate their food. I hope so because the Barn Owls are struggling to survive now.

Mia

*All images taken with a Nikon D300, f6.3, ISO 640, shutter speed of 1/1000 to 1/1250, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

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