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Old May 9, 2014, 12:04 PM   #1
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Default Winged Predators of the forrest (Owl and Hawk)

My backyard abuts to a bunch of other people's backyards making a section around 11 acres of decidous and connifer forests with a small seasonal stream flowing down hill into a swampy area. It's a small band of woods that supports a variety of life.

We've always heard and rarely seen owls and we've also always had a few hawks present. With the leaves slow to come out this year after the winter that wouldn't quit I've been able to capture a few shots of these two predators, one of the daylight hours and one of the night.

This past Sunday around midday I was sitting down to some lunch and saw a flash of movement in the woods near the stream. It was the red-shouldered hawk I've photographed before. I went out with the 70-300 and got a few snaps well it was perched in a tree, had to crop a bit.

Red Shouldered Hawk by ramcewan, on Flickr

This one was heavily cropped (please forgive the ISO 1250 noise)

Red Shouldered Hawk by ramcewan, on Flickr

A moment later the hawk was off across the street to more open hunting areas and out of camera reach. I came back in an began post processing the images only to look up and see the hawk coming back down the driveway laboring with a large brown kill in it's claws. It looked like a groundhog or some other such varmit and the hawk was carrying it back to the nest, likely to feed a mate sitting on the spring's eggs. When the hawk leaves it always goes through the woods, but when it's laden with prey I've seen it a few times choose the easier path of the driveway like it did this day. It wasn't too much after this that I was leaving to go to the garden store and I saw the hawk coming back out from the woods to prowl again in the afternoon for more prey.

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Each night this spring we have sat in our bed listening to a pair of barred Owls caterwauling. They start with calls back and forth with their trademark "who cooks for you, who cooks for you all" but when they find eachother they errupt into a rapid burst of hoots that sounds more like monkeys (you can hear what it sounds like here http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/barred_owl/sounds )

And the other night I caught site and shared a photo I'd taken of the one who has taken up residence closest to our home. Now that I know where it lives last night when at sunset I heard it start to call I went running out with the camera and got a few more shots as it was waking up for it's evening of hunting and caterwauling.

warming in the sunset light

barred owl by ramcewan, on Flickr

barred owl by ramcewan, on Flickr

On the way off to the hunt

barred owl by ramcewan, on Flickr
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Old May 9, 2014, 1:49 PM   #2
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Nice shots Ramce and the live cam is interesting. Thanks for sharing.
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Old May 9, 2014, 9:12 PM   #3
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How interesting, and a good job in capturing those shots. Well done.
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Old May 9, 2014, 10:44 PM   #4
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And literally in your own backyard. How much more convenient can it be?

Beautiful creatures.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; May 11, 2014 at 9:42 PM.
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Old May 11, 2014, 7:50 PM   #5
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Thanks guys for checking them out.

Greg, I am lucky to have this in my backyard for sure, even though it is a short window in the spring where I the birds are back but the leaves aren't out yet. By today the leaves are mostly out and I will probably not get another chance to capture the owl until next year, if I am lucky...
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Old May 13, 2014, 9:08 AM   #6
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here's one more shot of the barred owl, I watched it perched on this tree for 5 minutes or so. It was spinning it's head around and back looking for prey in the late afternoon light, or maybe looking out for crows looking to give it a hard time as they do. Either way it sat for a little while and then I looked away and it was gone.

Barred Owl on the Prowl by ramcewan, on Flickr
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Old May 14, 2014, 3:25 PM   #7
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That last one might be my favorite of them.
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Old May 15, 2014, 9:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SammyKhalifa View Post
That last one might be my favorite of them.
I tend to agree, it seems to have a better balance of color as compared to the ones in the sunset light against the pine tree.

I also like how this one places the owl in the forest. I used a elliptical graduated filter around the owl to up the exposure on the owl by .75 which brightens the owl while maintaining the contrast between shadows and highlights of the forest.
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Old May 16, 2014, 12:27 PM   #9
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Beautiful set rancewan, 3, 5 and 6 are my favorites.

Never had the chance to photograph a Barrel Owl.
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Old May 25, 2014, 2:13 AM   #10
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Default Opportunistic owl in Oz

Thought I'd show you an unusual owl like bird we sometime see here out bush in South Australia. Australian Tawny Frogmouth.

The image were not taken on a 4/3 camera, but I'm sure you'll forgive me this time, as it was with an Olympus TG-2 at least. Next time I see one hopefully the OM-D E-M1 will be with me.
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