Sunday, April 11, 2010

Great Horned Owl Family

It has been a great week of Photography for me - with 2 days being over the top.  Wednesday I took off from work and headed to East Hampton to photograph the beached Humpback Whale which beached itself on our shores.  Unfortunately, it had a sad ending to the story Whale "Euthanized" but I was able to get some amazing photographs of this juvenile Whale (30 feet long, 16 tons) which can be seen on my sister blog: Wild Long Island

After trying several times trying to find Great Horned and Eastern Screech Owls this winter in the Bronx and Nassau County, I got an e-mail this morning from a fellow photographer that a Great Horned Owlet had fallen from its tree and re-habbers were going to retrieve it.  By the time I got there, the Owlet had been taken away but another Owlet and the mother had been spotted.  What I was thinking would be a few shots at re-habbers taking care of an Owlet turned into a fantastic morning trying to track the mother in the trees as it was continually mobbed by Crows and Jays and getting an unreal photo session of an Owlet.
After trying to get a clear shot of the mother without success we went to Mike Lotito's house in hopes of photographing some woodpeckers which are frequent visitors to his yard.  After about 30 minutes and no woodpeckers, we went back to the owl, only to find that the re-habbers had returned the Owlet after finding it unharmed.  I'm not sure if they let it fly on its own or if it was placed on this branch,but either way it was the perfect spot to photograph it.  It seemed fearless as cars, people on bikes and a woman walking her dog passed by without much of a movement from the owl which allowed us to fire away.  After photographing for a bit, Mike inquired were the Mother might be - I turned around (not expecting to find it) and saw this:

The mother's eyes trained on the nearby Bluejay:

More Owlet:
After spending some time on the mother, I returned my attention to the Owlet on the branch and got several different angles.  Hopefully the Owls stick around for at least the week and I can get some photo ops with proper lighting as today offered some technical challenges.  

On the way home I took a shot down Dune Rd. but it didn't yield much other than this Osprey.  Looks like I was a minute or two too late to get it flying back with its catch:

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