Barred Owl at McGregor Marsh by Martin Smart
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Barred Owl at McGregor Marsh by 


Canon 20D + 500 mm lens
1/320 sec f8 ISO 400

884 views, 30 favorites as at February 14th 2012

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Selected as Artwork of the Day on February 14th 2012 in The World As We See It, or as we missed it Group

This photograph of a Barred Owl was taken in the wild, I accidentally flushed it whilst walking along a trail through a forested area at McGregor Marsh, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.
It flew from the ground up into a tree where it sat and watched me for several minutes.
My 500mm lens was already mounted on my tripod as I was out looking for woodland birds to photograph. However I was far too close to the Owl to get a full body shot and was unable to back up very much as the undergrowth behind me was too dense. Nevertheless I was more than satisfied with the few close-up shots I was able to take before it flew off. In this one you can actually see a tree just to my right reflecting in the owl’s left eye (or right eye as you look at the photograph!)
The Barred Owl (Strix varia) is a large typical owl. It is also known as an eight hooter, rain owl, wood owl, and striped owl, but is probably known best as the hoot owl.The adult is 44 cm long with a 112 cm wingspan. It has a pale face with dark rings around the eyes, a yellow beak and dark brown eyes. It’s chest is barred horizontally whilst the belly is streaked lengthwise.
Its diet consists mainly of various species of mice but it also feeds on small mammals such as rodents and also birds such as grouse, hawks, and doves. It will occasionally wade into water to capture fish or terrapins.

Tags

aorbjanfeatures, barred owl, british columbia, hoot, typical owl, vancouver island

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Comments

  • redladyart
    redladyartover 4 years ago

    Oh my goodness, what a fantastic close-up! Crisp, clear, and gorgeous Martin. ;)

  • Hi Sharon, many thanks for stopping by and leaving such a great comment, much appreciated!

    – Martin Smart

  • Mark Robson
    Mark Robsonover 4 years ago

    Wow superb Martin, great detail :))

  • Thanks very much Mark, appreciate your comment!

    – Martin Smart

  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
    Gina Ruttle (...over 4 years ago

    A killer image, Martin! Often I wonder how many owls I have walked past while in the woods. So silent…once in awhile I have spotted one sitting quietly, gazing at me. What a fortunate circumstance for you to have your big lens already mounted on your tripod. Fortune was with you that day. Excellent work!

  • Thank you so much for your kind comments Gina. Being prepared on this occasion certainly paid off, I wasn’t expecting to see an owl that day let alone get this close to one and so often I lug the heavy 500mm lens around on the tripod for hours and never fire off a shot so I guess I deserved a bit of payback!

    – Martin Smart

  • tkrosevear
    tkrosevearover 4 years ago

    ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING SHOT MARTIN!!!

  • Thank you for such a wonderful comment Tammy, very much appreciated!

    – Martin Smart

  • ECH52
    ECH52over 4 years ago

    Beautiful capture!!!

  • Thanks very much, appreciate your comment!

    – Martin Smart

  • jeffrae
    jeffraeover 4 years ago

    Wonderful shot…what a thrill to come upon this beauty and have them stick around long enough for a photo too!

  • Thank you very much for your visit & comment jeffrae!

    – Martin Smart

  • Bunny Clarke
    Bunny Clarkeover 4 years ago

    Awesome capture and portrait. Splendid find.

  • Thank you so much Bunny, appreciate your comment!

    – Martin Smart

  • shilohlin
    shilohlinover 4 years ago

    Fantastic capture!! The reflection in his eye is superb ;o)

  • Many thanks for your kind comments Shiloh, much appreciated!

    – Martin Smart

  • lorilee
    lorileeover 4 years ago

    Beautiful!!!

  • Thank you so much Lori!

    – Martin Smart

  • Lynda Harris
    Lynda Harrisover 4 years ago

    WOW Martin!!! What a treasure!!!

  • Thank you very much Lynda!

    – Martin Smart

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