You'll have to look closely at these photos since we used a point and shoot camera for these pictures, but if you do you will see short-eared owls in each. (Here's a close up from Wikipedia.) We've never seen short-eared owls before and after many reports this winter we had to go see the ones at Battelle Darby Creek. Short-eared owls are crepuscular meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk so we went out to the wetlands/fields they prefer around sunset and found them right away. Exciting!
Here's a short-eared owl perched on vegetation:
One soaring low in the way they do looking for small mammals to capture and eat.
David Allen Sibley says: "Foraging habits and habitat similar to Northern Harrier and the two species often occur together, Short-eared Owl has floppier, somewhat erratic flight, pale patch on primaries, shorter tail, and larger head."
Here two short-eared owls are in flight. We could clearly hear the high, nasal or wheezy barks given by both sexes as they communicated with one another.
Short-eared owl perched on vegetation...look closely.
One more in flight...
Short-eared owls "roost during much of the day in hidden spots, often on the ground among weeds and grass; at night flies low over fields and marshes."
They will move north soon with much of their summer range in Canada. We feel lucky to have seen them!