Thursday, February 19, 2009

Owls in the Bog

It's been a good winter for northern owls in northern Minnesota. Multiple sightings of Great Gray Owls, Northern Hawk Owls and Snowy Owls have been reported. We all had high hopes for the festival weekend. Unfortunately The Great Grays were getting tougher to find and we didn't see any over the weekend. This is a picture I took in January 2005 during the owl irruption that winter. I was very lucky to see 80 Great Gray Owls in one day trip up north.

We did see a few Northern Hawk Owls. This was a life bird for many of the out of towners and I was glad to see the excitement on their faces while they gazed at this very cool bird.

We got to watch as his head would swivel about looking for prey and keeping an eye on us.


Does this branch make me look fat?


Yeah, well your 19 layers of clothes don't do much for your figure either!

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The group on Friday's Duluth field trip did get great looks at a Boreal Owl. One birder in that group really stood out. Fifteen year old Tucker L. drove up with his Dad from Iowa for the festival. I was thrilled to share his excitement when he showed me his great picture of the Boreal Owl and I was even happier for him when he told me it was his 300th life bird!!

Stop by Tucker's blog Birding with Tucker and read his account of finding his 300th life bird. Please leave a comment and offer congratulations on his achievement. I have a feeling Tucker will do something really special with his life and I'm positive he'll make an impact on the world of birds.









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40 comments:

Kyle said...

Wow, what beautiful shots of the Hawk Owl, Lynne! Sorry to hear you didn't encounter the Great Grays. But it sounds like you had a pretty good time, nonetheless. Thanks for sharing!

The Early Birder said...

Just what I have come to expect from you Lynne - FAB photos of the Owls.

Laurie said...

Wow, great photos!

Bird Girl said...

Fabulous! Your hawk owl pictures are divine! And the great gray too! Both of these would be life birds for me - wow - it would be so awesome to see them in the wild!

jalynn01 said...

I love seeing your owls..great captures.

Eve said...

I got to see a Great Gray here a few years ago and had one right here at my house years before that. A wonderful bird. One of these days I'll post a picture.
I'd love to see a Hawk Owl. Thanks Lynne

Shellmo said...

I would've loved to have seen all those owls! Loved the shot of the Northern Owl's chest!

Deb said...

Waaah! Your pictures turned out so much better than mine!

RuthieJ said...

Great owl photos Lynne. It's nice to be able to see them in the daytime.

Susan Gets Native said...

Want to see Susan wet her pants?

Show her a Northern Hawk Owl.
(Or Snowy....or GG...or Boreal....any of those would make her lose control of her bladder. Happily)

:)

Ruth said...

We have LOTS of Snowy Owls around but I have yet to find any other owl. I have been looking hard because they are supposed to be abundant this year here as well. Love your photos.

Tina said...

Guess I will have to come to the Minn. to see some of these awesome owls. Great photos, absolutely love the hawk owl shots..what a neat bird!

Jayne said...

How cool that you got to see the Hawk Owl and that he was so new for so many. :c) I'll be sure to check out Tucker's blog.

Mel said...

Hola Lynne!
Lucky you!! So many owls!!
Besos,
Mel

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Loved the great gray pix. I've never seen a hawk owl. Here along "my" river the great horned owls are about to nest; some may already be on—snow or not.

Mary said...

Linne,

I can't believe you saw so many owls during the day and I have never seen one in the wild. Except for a silohuette of a GHO before sunrise...

Lucky you!

May

Red said...

I still have yet to see an owl! Thanks Lynne! I'm with Mary, I can't believe you saw so many during the day :) Lucky you!

possumlady said...

I think I may have to make a trip back to Minnesota to see me some owls! LOVE them! Although I've heard owls, the only one I've ever seen was in 2005. A snowy owl flying away when I was way up north in northern Manitoba.

Even though everyone tells me it was most unlikely, in 2006 in the early spring I SWEAR I heard a great gray owl in the early morning hours.

possumlady said...

I think I may have to make a trip back to Minnesota to see me some owls! LOVE them! Although I've heard owls, the only one I've ever seen was in 2005. A snowy owl flying away when I was way up north in northern Manitoba.

Even though everyone tells me it was most unlikely, in 2006 in the early spring I SWEAR I heard a great gray owl in the early morning hours.

mon@rch said...

Very nice . . I only wish we had Great Grays around here! They do show up once every 10 blue moons . . . so waiting for my time to arrive!

Owlman said...

80 Great Gray Owls - Come on! Boreal owl - drooooool!

Kathleen said...

Wow! That first photo took my breath. If I had been there to see the owl in person, I would have been shaking to much to take the shot! Well done!

Mary C said...

Very nice, Lynne. I visited and left a comment on Tucker's post. It's so refreshing to read about young birders' experiences, isn't it? And imagine 300 lifers - wow!

Q said...

Dear Lynne,
So many Owls!WOW! How very cool. I need to come see you. I love Owls.
Tucker is amazing...I think he will do great things for the birds too.
Thanks for letting us know about him.
Lots of hoots,
Sherry

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Col hawk owls! Those faces are sooooo intense, I almost have to look away!

Too bad about the great grays, though. I would love to one day see one.

dguzman said...

Patrick would probably love seeing these guys too! But let's not make Susan pee in her pants....

gardenpath said...

I love the first shot, although all of them are great. Once, I ran into a Snowy owl in the woods, but of course, had no camera!

It sounds like you have a lot of fun on your birding trips.

Kallen305 said...

I have no idea how I missed this post! Such wonderful pictures. I love every detail I can see in its feathers. Sigh, another bird I have yet to see with my own two eyes. In fact, I have never seen any owl yet. This year I am certain!

Mike and Lizette's Travels and Thoughts said...

Oh yeah! Nice Owl shots Lynne.

Rune said...

Beautiful shots! :o)

Leedra said...

Great photos, I guess after seeing so many owls in previous years I am sure you were really looking forward to see them again. I would like to see just one in the wild.

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Larry said...

Owls are so cool and I've really seen so few of them. That must have been some winter when you saw all those Great Grey Owls! Glad you had some success.-Great photos too!

Mo said...

Great pics! Cool blog.

Vickie said...

That seems impossible, to see so many owls. You've got some awesome photos of owls I've never seen. Love the chit chat you two were having.

KaHolly said...

All I can say is, "WOW!"

A New England Life said...

I'm not sure if I've ever actually seen an owl before. And believe it or not I've only heard one a couple times! Maybe I'll get lucky and spot one this summer!

troutbirder said...

Way to go Lynne. You did good

scienceguy288 said...

Crazy cool photo! I have never seen an actual owl in the wild. Heard a bunch, but never saw any.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

What happened to the "Only in Minnesota" post? It shows up as a recent post in my reader, but every time I come to see it I can't find it.
Is it me?

Kathiesbirds said...

Lynne, I am just going to have to come visit you next winter because I want to see one of those Great Gray Owls! It is so amazing! Somehow it does look "wise" and old.