Monday, March 2, 2009

Pocket Owl

The weekend was pretty damn good! I had 2 separate owl encounters, which should makes anybodys weekend a big success. For today's post, I am featuring the Northern Saw-whet Owl. What an amazing creature! But...before I get into that, I must say that I owe a big thanks to Rattlin Antler, who trusted me with the secret location. Thanks sooo much Don! (He is also a new blogger, so check out his site here.)



It was an overcast morning, and traveling over 50 miles just for a chance to see him made the grim morning alittle brighter when upon arrival, I find Rattlin Antler shooting along the path. Woohoo, the owl must be there! So I set up shop and find... the shutter lagged alittle more than anybody wants in these unfavorable conditions, so a few adjustments were in order. It was a tough decision to let the background burn or have an underdeveloped subject that I would have to photoshop later. I chose to keep it slow, crossing my fingers, that 1 or 2 images would come out sharp. Luckily I had a few. I shot these shots at ISO 500, f/5.6, 1/125 sec at 220 mm focal length on my trusty 100-400mm Canon lens that just got returned from the Canon repair shop.



I called todays post "Pocket Owl" because he was such an adorable little guy! I just wanted to pluck him down and stick him in my pocket and take him home! He is one of my very favorite owls for obvious reasons. The cuter, the better. The more elusive, the better. He definately qualifies for both.



A few facts about Northern Saw-whet Owls: A small owl (6.5-9") of all types of woodlands, the Northern Saw-whet Owl can be found roosting in winter in small, dense conifer trees, sometimes even in parks and gardens. Its defense upon discovery is to sit still and not fly, leading people to perceive them as "tame."



The Northern Saw-whet Owl is a very small, short-bodied, Owl with a relatively short tail. The overly large head has no ear tufts and may appear distorted due to an asymmetrical skull. They look small when perched and tend to shuffle their feet, but in flight appear larger because of their broad wings.

14 comments:

Eve said...

Ahwwwwww! He is a cutie pie!! Wonderful photos Hannibal.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Fantastic shots.The lens looks to be working well.
Blessings,Ruth

denapple said...

When an owl sees you, you know you can't hide. What big eyes you've got. All the better to see you with my dear.

Craig Glenn said...

OK Hannibal, I am starting to think you make some of this stuff up! LOL This is an amazing capture! Love those eyes.

Craig

Bird Girl said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....I am sooooooo JEALOUS!!!! You lucky thing!!! I am dying to see one of these -NEVER EVER saw one! Tell me...would you have seen this little pocket owl if your buddy didn't point it out? They say you can be looking right at one and not see it! These are just beautiful pictures! I love them with their eyes opened and closed -- I just LOVE THEM!!!
Congratulations, Hannibal!

Richard said...

Great pictures. The little guy (or gal) looks like they were cut in half.

Rattlinantler said...

I thought you were never going to post these! I have been checking since the photos were shot. Excellent shots of this tiny little owl! What a pleasure to share the moment with you!

Marsha said...

I wish I could put pocket owl in my pocket and take him home!

The photos are just amazing and since I am a beginning user of the DSL cameras I really like that you shared the specifics of your settings.

Chris said...

Woow how cute is this one... This is a great capture man... Congrats.

HANNIBAL said...

Hey Bird Girl: I have never been to the location before. Would I have seen it just walking by? I wouldn't have checked that tree, so no. The juniper was very sparse and spindly. I wouldn't think anything would choose that tree, but I have been proven wrong. You just never know...

Knowing you Bird Girl, you will get your very own SWO soon...I don't doubt it a bit!

Tina said...

I don't think you could have found a more adorable owl than this one!! Who wouldn't be in awe of those eyes, opened and closed... just LOVE all your pictures, so detailed and absolutely perfect. Happy for you! Congrats!!

Owlman said...

Fantastic captures of an amazing owl. I tried to track down Saw whet this year without any luck.

Sandy said...

wow, these are great photos!! Love them.

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.