Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Up Close & Personal with 4 Short-eared Owls

I got another hot tip! Short-eared Owls that day roost in an agricultural ditch and are highly tolerant of cars stopping. So I get my directions and journey 130 miles to the location. Finding the owls along the tall grasses with their amazing camouflaged feathers was pretty frustrating at first, but once you spot the first one, you know exactly how to find more. Yep, there they were, just sitting & waiting for me to show up. The morning was extremely windy and these little fellas knew exactly how to pick excellent cover to break the blow. There were plenty of grassy "caves" to hide out in. Thanks guys! You made my day!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Timberdoodle Doodling in Snow

This strange creature with an extremely long bill is an American Woodcock. I found him this morning after last nights fresh snow. He migrated from a warmer climate recently, so I'm sure he's not too happy with this snow. His bill is used to sift through soil for bugs and worms.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Northern Hawk Owl- Lifer!

Another tip and another journey to Wisconsin for an owl rarely seen even there. Like the Great Grey Owl (previous post) this little owl stays in the colder states like Minnesota and other northernmost areas. This migrant found its way south probably by accident as with the Great Grey. Bird Nerds like me will travel 100's of miles just to get a good look at one in the wild. He was well worth the trip from Illinois, even though the tolls on I294 are frickin ridiculous! $2.80. CrAzY!I stayed long enough for him to fly to a few posts, but no natural settings. Oh well, I got my owl!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Great Grey Owl - A Lifer!

One of the best wildlife moments of my life, this Great Grey Owl put on quite a show for me. It was obvious this wild owl was used to people as it approached quite close many times. The rumor mill was buzzing with sightings of this owl and the unethical behavior displayed by certain photographers baiting. This owl was looking for an easy meal while I was there, although no one baited him on this day. Right or wrong, perfect weather conditions and a big help from this lifer owl made this a spectacular day! Enjoy!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Raccoon Youngsters Foraging

A couple of young raccoons took advantage of the milder temps to look for food. Raccoons normally hibernate during freezing temps but leave the den to eat when the temps are not so frigid.