Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 12/14/14

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I like the little tilt of the head of the bird in this photo. Short-eared Owl at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 12/14/14.

I had a full day of birding today, but the best was saved for last. Huge thanks to PJ Singh who texted me to let me know that there was a single Short-eared Owl up early at the Shawangunk Grasslands NWR. I was over in Newburgh picking up a couple of birds I needed for the county (Great Black-backed Gull and Great Cormorant), and I was not going to go to the grasslands. It had been gray and cloudy all day which would not make for good photos, and the owls had not been up early yet this year as far as I knew. I decided to head over to check it out and boy am I glad I did. Sun came out and the so did the SEOWs, right before 3:30. I was lucky enough to get into the south blind and that’s where the birds seemed to spend most of their time tonight. PJ joined me in the blind shortly after the owls got up and wow did they put on a show! I approximate at least 10 Short-eared Owls were there, but it is tough to get a good count while photographing. What an exciting afternoon!

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Short-eared Owl in flight at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 12/14/14. 
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This is my favorite shot of the day, I love how both the bird and the grasses are well lit on a dark background. SEOW at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 12/14/14.
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SEOW at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 12/14/14. 
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This stick was a favorite perch of the Short-eared Owls, Shawangunk Grasslands NWR 12/14/14.
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This shot was taken as the sun started to get lower, SEOW at the Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 12/14/14. 
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Ralph put this perch in the perfect position, directly in front of the blind, and the owls love it. Perched Short-eared Owl at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 12/14/14.

12 thoughts on “Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 12/14/14”

  1. Wow Matt! Nice shots! I will send you a couple of pics later that you might be interested in. Glad you had such a good day!

  2. Matt
    This is my favorite of all your most recent posts. They are all really great angles of each owl.

    I haven’t been out in a while. I may try on Wed. afternoon for the owls.

    Wilma

    1. Thanks Billy L. SEOWs can be active in the morning, but not often in my experience; I’ve only seen it a couple of times. My photos were taken mid afternoon. Matt

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