Feeding Time

I placed another tick in a box last night. I was beginning to think I would never see an owl feed their babies. They seemed to shy away from doing that within eyesight of me. Then, last night I saw and heard them in all one areas again.

Mother perhaps with prey.

The one parent flew to the same tree as the children. I could not tell if it had someone, but someone I was with said they saw it was holding a chipmunk. If you look carefully under the branch you see dangling legs.

Parent with two of the three owlets visible.

The parent flew to another tree and the owlets followed.

Tearing up the chipmunk.

The parent then proceeded to tear out pieces of the chipmunk and feed them to the owlets.

Two were very interested and were nearby. The third was higher up.

They don’t always do this within view. Sometimes it is high up in the tree tops with leaves blocking the view. I was so happy to see this tonight. Owls are predators. It is what they do to survive.

Barred Owl with Prey

What do owls like to feed their babies? Multiple times I have seen them bring in a chipmunk.

The catch of the Day:Chipmunk

Chipmunks give away the owls when they are in their vicinity by a noise they make. A good thing for the other creatures in the forest, but a bad thing for the chipmunk. He tells the owl exactly where he is.

Hanging out in a darker part of the woods

This owl seemed to be happy to fly to more open trees around me and show me her catch. Her babies were nearby, but hiding behind leaves. I wanted to stay and see if she would feed them in front of me, something I have not had a good view of yet. However, a thunderstorm was approaching. I hope to witness breakfast of dinner in the future. Have a great weekend!

Owlet at Sunset

Is this owlet waiting in anticipation of a meal? Is it contemplating joining its sibling by leaving the hole he knows so well?

Owlet in tree hole before it left the nest.

I only had a short window this year to catch the owlets at the tree hole. One left the nest the next day and the other I believe a day after that. I could only get there with about one hour or so before sunset so I took advantage of what I had. Enjoy short breaks from having your nose to the grindstone.

Two Owlets

What is twice as nice as spotting an owlet in a tree hole? Finding out there are two owlets.

Second baby is in the hole.

The day after I spotted one in the hole, there was one high up in the same tree, and another one in the hole, so definitely two.

Baby owl power napping.

This is the one who was high up in the same tree with their nest hole. I suspect he climbed the tree, however I did see him flying branch to branch the next day.

Mother or Dad? I tried to make this one look like an old photo. The light was not great that day.

The mother owl usually flies down to a lower branch for a couple of minutes before flying back to a higher branch. I do not hear the “Who cooks for you?” sound people say barred owls usually make. She or he usually make half a who around the babies. I guess it is owl baby talk.

These two seemed to have left the nest quickly. I passed that tree two times every time I went there and prior to my last post I did not see an owlet peeking out. Would have wished for more days to see them at the tree hole, but I will take what I can get. Go slow and be aware when walking in the woods, you never know what you can miss.

Peek -A-Boo

I found the barred owl tree hole tonight. Yes, the pair had mated and has at least one owlet.
I am hoping there are more in the hole.

Walking around different woods and casing out tree holes has paid off. I was tracking and following the owls, but tonight this owlet’s eyes were on me. You never know who is watching you in the woods.

Owl Hunting

If I close my eyes and pretend to sleep it will lure the other critters into a false sense of security.
I see someone climbing a neighbouring tree.
OMG!!!!!! Owl!!!!!!!
I’ve got to get a closer look at this human. Did you get good shots?
Learn from the master.

Straggler

This straggler missed his flight. It appears he will be the last to leave the party. He lingered at his winter abode. There were four snowy owls on the beach. On the day these pictures were taken and the previous day, he was the only owl sighted. Have his three other beach mates started their journey back to the far north Canadian Arctic?

When I arrived he flew along the shore ahead of me and landed on this tree branch. He was there when I left.

I asked him where his friends were. I told him it might be time to head north soon. I hope his internal clock works well. A fellow female photo buff told me she went later and could not find him. Did he listen to me? I doubt it. They do fly between neighbouring beach areas.

Lots of different birds in the midst of migration to catch this owl’s attention.

All these photos are taken with a long lens and cropped significantly.

About a minute. That’s all I had with this light. Before and afterwards it was dark and cloudy. It was the best minute of my day. Appreciate even small time blocks of sunshine. Stay safe and stay healthy.

Sleepy Snowy Owls

What do snowy owls do during the day? Most of the time by my observations they sleep or go between sleeping and waking up. A few times I have seen them fly to catch prey. The appear to be mostly sedentary during the day.

Owl after I arrived
Start of a yawn- owl before I left
Wide open mouth next to a log

I saw two different owls this day. This is the same owl when I arrived and before I left. I was there around 4 hours, but watching them maybe less than half of the time I was there. They appear to have remained in the same locations from the time I arrived until when I left. All the photographers seemed to be respectful and keep a distance.

Nature is fascinating. Enjoy it from a distance.

Winking Owl, Stealth Owl

I had to stop by after work. The weather has not cooperated, but I can not do anything about that. No drama today. The crows did a fly by , but did not see the parent.

It looks like one owl was winking at me. I am sure it had something in his eye though. The parent tries to be stealth around the nest. It did not work today. It has no problem being photographed away from the nest.

Yes, one seemed to be winking at me. It had one eye closed for a few shots.
The owlets are starting to get feathers it appears and I see what appears to be ears more prominently.
Parent is trying to be stealth. It did not work too well at this moment.

Get out and enjoy nature. It is the perfect socially distant activity.

Snowy Owl

Jones Beach is known for its 6.5 miles of white sand on the
Atlantic Ocean on New York’s Long Island. It is also known for its outdoor concerts in warmer months and drive through holiday lights display November through January. What is it also known for this year? It is known for some snowy owls who are visiting from a much colder climate.

The owl mostly slept all morning on top of a sand dune. Once in a while it would open an eye slightly.

Jones Beach is a barrier island encompassing 2,400 acres on the south shore of Long Island. It is a state park that includes the West End Energy and Nature Center at West End 2.

Eyes opened! Quick take a shot!

It has a variety of birds that can be seen at different points in the year including oystercatchers, terns, northern harper hawks, plovers, brants, and now the snowy owl. On the day I went I was told 2-3 were sighted there within a few days prior. That day I found one.

At this point in the day the weather would not look promising. Both eyes opened! Ocean is the dark area in the background.

I arrived around 10 in the morning, but took a long break in the middle of the afternoon to warm up in my car. I ended up leaving around 6 p.m. The light varied throughout the day from dark and cloudy to very sunny.

If you go to spot a snowy owl, know they are protected. Don’t make any unnecessary noise and keep a distance. I believe the sign at the entrance says to stay at least 100 feet away. It also stated there was a 250 dollar fine for violating that. I did see one person early on who I think was doing just that as he was low crawling up one side of the dune the owl was sleeping on. I have a zoom lens and these are cropped a lot.

This was later in the afternoon. I stuck to the shady side as it appeared to me the owl was facing this way most of the time. I hope to go again and have the sun to my back. I never heard a sound from this owl. The surf was high that day and it was windy. I think this was actually a yawn.

I was so happy to get this opportunity to see this owl. My friends Andrew and his wife Theresa let me know about this place to view the owls. Thank you Andrew and Theresa! I will post more pictures taken in the late afternoon and evening in another post. Happy New Year everyone!

%d bloggers like this: