Friday, May 23, 2008

Owl Extravaganza

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of accompanying 2 friends. One called Marten, the other one called Martin. 2 great guys passionate about Owls and bird banding.
On the first day , Marten, took me and my wife out to see a bird that I have wanted to see in Canada ever since I moved here, The Long-eared Owl.

Here is the female , sat on her nest :



The following day I went out with Martin, and his son Stephane to band Great Horned Owl chicks down south in the region of Kyle.
The day was a long one, but great fun.
The guys banded young from 10 different nest sites, and made it look easy.
The weather was a mix of sunshine and showers and after the day was over, I had another 2 lifers to add to my list.
The first, was yet another species I had longed to see , and that was the Burrowing Owl. We were lucky enough to see 2 pairs, in 2 burrow sites.
I also saw my first couple of Ring-necked Pheasants in Canada, having only ever seen them in Europe before.
Other highlights were a few pairs of Loggerhead Shrikes . It seemed that almost every shelter belt or Farmstead had a pair nesting there.
I also got to see a nesting Golden Eagle.

Here are some photos :

Great Horned Owl Owlets

This is what happens when one decides to jump out of the nest ! Luckily they tend to bounce when they hit the ground and are absolutely fine.



Here are 2 more Owlets from 2 other nest sites :





2 of the parents, note the very pale colour of these 'Taiga race' Owls :





Burrowing Owls ( These guys were just wonderful to watch ):

Keeping an eye out for intruders..



A pair, late in the afternoon :



And lastly, one of the Loggerhead Shrikes :

12 comments:

The Birdlady said...

Amazing owl images! I love seeing all your amazing photos.

kjpweb said...

Wow Nick! Those are great captures! Excellent! Kudos!
Cheers, Klaus

Nick S said...

Thanks guys :-) It was a great couple of days !

Bird Girl said...

I can't think of anything more exciting! And I really can't believe the owlet takes off out of the nest like that and actually bounces! How cool is that? Amazing and so much fun to look at - thanks for sharing things we can only dream about doing some day!

Sandpiper said...

Wow! What a treat! You must have been thrilled with these pictures, Nick! They're wonderful.

Nick S said...

Glad you enjoyed them :-) thanks for the kind comments as always !

Stacey Huston said...

Love the baby owl pics.. what an honor to get to go along while banding.. wonderful.. I got some pics of babies last week..(another one from my list) and I also got a picture of a shrike earlier this spring.. thanks for sharing your great pictures.

Nick S said...

Thanks Stacy , it sure was a great day out :-)
I'm behind in looking at everyone's blogs as I've been working, but I'll stop by and check out everyone's fine work later.

Shellmo said...

My husband & I "oohed and ahed" over the owl photos - spectacular!

Nick S said...

Thanks Shellmo :-) I did a bit of oohing and ahhing myself when I first saw the Long-eared & Burrowing Owls :-)

John Theberge said...

Great photos, sounds like that was a real interesting trip for you, I'd love to do something like that.

2sweetnsaxy said...

Amazing! Your photos are all wonderful!