Monday, February 21, 2011

Short-eared Owls at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

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!


  1. Hi J&S...In all those dryed grasses it is a wonder you could see them at all!!
    Pretty exciting to see them!! Sometimes I think of the people that never see or care if they ever see the wonderful creatures that there are out there!!

  2. This is awesome. I always enjoy seeing owls!

  3. How exciting! You know I love owls:)

    Do you ever use your big film camera anymore, Jen?

  4. Lo - no I do not use that camera now since it's film. I do think my good lens will transfer to a digital should we ever to choose to buy a camera such as that. The size is always such an issue for us!


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