Wednesday 26 February 2014

After the Storm/Long Eared Owls

Feb 25 2014 Boundary Bay, Delta British Columbia.  Sunny skies.

I had been looking for some new shots for a AV show I am co-presenting in March. The subject matter is 'Birding in the Lower Mainland"
I like to present photographs from all seasons and this winter has been another brilliant year for birding opportunities in the Lower Mainland. Gyrfalcons, Golden Eagles, Long and Short-eared Owls and many other species have provided new material and hours and hours of enjoyment. This was the case Tuesday evening when this Long-eared Owl put on a show for a number of us photographers and birders.
All these photographs were taken at a respectful distance from the dyke, the 'outed owl baiter' wasn't there and there were no trespassers in the field, had there been, then none of these images would have been possible. All these pictures were taken in the exact spot* where he was seen baiting owls a few weeks ago. Thankfully he hasn't been seen around too much to and ruin what is an amazing display of nature.

*What I meant was the birds were in the same spot as the "owl baiter'
Long-eared Owl (Asio otus)

A Northern Harrier tries to steal a vole from a Long-eared Owl. Note how the owl makes itself large with the spreading of wings and extension of tail making the bird three times the size than when seen perching.

Eventually the owl was able to shake off the Harriers and waited until dark before hunting again.

My first ever Long-eared owl in flight. They take on quite a different appearance when seen flying.

Good Birding
John Gordon


  1. Beautiful image John, thanks for sharing them.

  2. Yes gorgeous shots usually the long eareds are hiding in the bushes. I have seen them fly and hunt at boundary bay they usually start becoming active after 4 pm. I love your shots thanks for sharing especially when he fights with the harrier. It's so nice to see this owl sitting on the post too he really is a beauty!

  3. They look just like Short-eared owls in flight! (except for the colouring and the long ears)

    Great series! Now, I want to see some Golden Eagles!

  4. I wonder if i'll ever better the flight shots from 2012. It was special moment photographing a Golden Eagle as it flew past me. I've taken ten trips and seen the bird twice, apparently that is a very good return. I'll keep looking and hopefully report back soon.

  5. You will. Like I found the Townsend's a couple of days ago. Birds have a funny habit of showing up when you least expect it. Quite a few sightings this year of Goldens on the island.