Short-eared Owls at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR

A Short-eared Owl at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 2/9/14.
A Short-eared Owl at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 2/9/14.

Photographing the Short-eared Owls out at the Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge is for me the most enjoyable way to shoot birds. Once you are tucked away in one of the photo blinds, the birds are not even aware of your presence. On good days, like today, when the owls get up early, this can result in many good photo opportunities. I love the fact that I can spend hours shooting away and I know that I am not bothering or stressing these birds out at all. All you have to do is be patient and be willing to deal with the cold temperatures. For me it is the perfect way to photograph birds; I only wish that there were more opportunities like this out there.

For the record I counted 6 Short-eared Owls at the refuge tonight, and amazingly, I did not see one Northern Harrier. This weekend is the first time I have ever been to the refuge in the winter and not seen at least one Northern Harrier.

I thought the SEOW on the post would flush, but it held its ground. Two SEOWs at the Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 2/9/14.
I thought the SEOW on the post would flush, but it held its ground. Two SEOWs at the Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 2/9/14.
Short-eared Owl hunting at the Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 2/9/14.
Short-eared Owl hunting at the Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 2/9/14.
Thanks to Ralph for putting this post up in front of the blind - the owls love it. Short-eared Owl at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 2/9/14.
Thanks to Ralph for putting this post up in front of the blind – the owls love it. Short-eared Owl at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 2/9/14.

 

8 thoughts on “Short-eared Owls at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR”

  1. Matt, I just love the owl on the post. It just seems it wants to pose and I really like the one in the grass too.
    I wan’t feeling so great today so I only went down to Bashakill for a little while since I only live 4 miles away. I saw John, who saw a hermit thrush. I couldn’t find it but I did find cedar waxwings and was able to get shots of them for the first time.
    have a great week..maybe the weather will get better soon?????
    Wilma

    1. Wilma,
      Glad you got shots of the Cedar Waxwings – I think they are a very photogenic bird! I hope you are feeling a bit better; spring will come soon! Matt

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