Short-Eared Owl

This gallery contains 2 photos. One of three Short-Eared Owls we saw hunting at Boundary Bay Wildlife Management Area on January 22. Not the first time I’ve seen a Shortie, but it is the closest I have come to photographing one, and in flight, no less. Ironically, it did fly within 15 feet of my camera, but my long lens had problems focusing on it quickly at such a close range!

Short-Eared Owl
those glowing yellow eyes are quite hypnotic.
f/6.3, 1/1000, 500mm, ISO 640

Before meeting an owl in the wild, I thought all owls were nocturnal creatures. Like the Northern Pygmy Owl, the Short-Eared Owl hunts in the daytime–but will hunt during twilight and nighttime, too. Unlike Northern Pygmy Owls, Short-Eared Owls actively hunt out their prey … they don’t wait for prey to come to it. Early to mid-afternoons are when we saw at the Shorties take a run at the septet of Western Meadowlarks who were hanging out in the same area (and broadcasting, somewhat foolishly, their location with their beautiful birdsong)–even though the staples of a Shorties’ diet are voles rather than birds.

Short-Eared Owlthis hunter is actually far from my lens, sitting on a massive log in the middle of the wilderness.
f/10, 1/180, 500mm, ISO 640, flash on


23 thoughts on “Short-Eared Owl

    • I am soooo glad I had the opportunity to photograph these owls, because lately there has been a real dearth of birds to photograph … many of the ducks and shorebirds have moved on! I haven’t even heard crickets in the area!


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