Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Winter is Coming

 And that means Snowy Owls.

This is the view of one such owl this past Sunday, at Island Beach State Park.

We arrived knowing that owls were there. Yes "owls" plural. This is looking like another irruption year, much like the winter of 2013/14.

And while we only saw this one bird, the day prior there were reports of four (!) seen together at the park.

A bird of the far north, they are not sure what to make of people, and thus will, should one keep a respectful distance, pose quite nicely. As this one did while dozens of photographers shot away.

You can see from these shots that I had time to move around, shooting from various angles. The first as we initially spotted the bird, to be sure I got a shot. The latter two to get better light. I was not the only one. And through it all the bird just sat on the hill occasionally swiveling its head to look at us.


These are magnificent creatures, and I'm glad I, along with Patty and our friends Bernie and Doreen, were able to see one. And where we were, the viewers were all at the aforementioned "respectable distance". Unfortunately, to often there seems to be that "a--hole photographer" that puts getting the shot above respect for the bird. And it is believed that the reason these birds are here is because there is not enough food up north. So they are far form home and hungry. And the last thing they need to be hassled by birders and photographers.

So if you are fortunate enough to be in an area where you can see these owls, by all means do so. But please consider the well being of the bird and watch from a distance.

Happy owling!

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