Photo Gallery and Blog 2017
I discovered the screech owls that I photographed extensively in previous years are still around.
This is the same female owl that nested here in previous years.
I got a couple photos in the fading light at dusk as she was hunting.
Sometimes she just sits in a tree and looks wise.
This is the male of the pair.
Sometimes he has that furrowed-brow look with raised ear tufts, and other times he looks much like the female.
One evening I saw an owlet for the first time.
It was sitting on a tree just above its nest hole.
Then pretty soon another one appeared behind its sibling.
They moved their heads around in circles and bobbed up and down.
They are so fuzzy and cute.
Two days after they first appeared, the two owlets were sitting side-by-side in a different tree, only visible through a gap in the leaves.
They sat there and snoozed during the day and only woke up at dusk.
After two more days, the owlets were walking around in the trees with ease, hopping from branch to branch.
Both adults were actively hunt for food for their owlets.
"Actively hunting" means they sit motionless on a low branch and stare intently at the ground,
watching and listening for any signs of a rodent.
They both have reddish feet from the previous course of dinner.
Just nine days after emerging from their nest, their wings have grown enough so the three owlets can fly from tree to tree.
Their flight skills are not polished yet. Landings usually involved falling forward into a face plant.
This day the owlets liked to sit on the branch and do their roundy-round head dance, which is fun to watch but not so good for long-exposure photos.
The next evening, the owlets were actively flying between trees and exploring the branches.
Sometimes they would be in places not obscured by twigs and leaves so I could get a few clear photos.
Most of the time they look at each other, the ground, other birds, and everything other than me, so I have to wait quite a while to take the photos.
The adult owls were diligently looking for food for their brood.
This evening the mother owl has a fresh, juicy, all-organic dinner from Vole Foods.
It can be really hard to find an owl because their feather pattern looks so much like tree bark.
Occasionally they will oblige the photographer by perching on a nice clear spot without twigs in good light.
Usually they don't give a hoot about me.
After a few weeks, the owl family has settled into a nocturnal routine.
They all snooze until 8pm, then wake up and get active just as the light fades.
In mid June my backyard serviceberry tree bears its fruit and becomes very popular with birds for a few days.
I have learned to watch for the waxwings among all the voracious robins.
Sure enough, two waxwings appeared on a day with nice cloudy light and I had one afternoon to try to photograph them.
One day later, the tree was stripped of berries and the birds had deserted it.