Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Barred Owl Extravaganza!

Double D and I enjoyed such a wonderful weekend, ending it with Barbara and Barry, the devoted barred owl pair at Bluebonnet Swamp. What made it more special was meeting two couples on a birding expedition from Canada―three of them toting major camera gear. They were from the northernmost part of Canada, near the Arctic. It was the first day of their adventure and they were really hoping to see something at the swamp. However, it was a dreary day and not much happening at our favorite nature place.

All of a sudden, Barry began hooting and Barbara's muffled responses were clearly heard from inside the tree cavity. I told them to be patient, that I had a good feeling we would see Barbara. She hasn't been seen much lately, she's so devoted to her eggs right now. Sure enough, she came out of the tree, perched on the side of the hole and stared. Cameras were snapping and whirring just like a paparazzi event at the Oscar's.
We were so close, no cropping was necessary on this shot and on the next;
only resized and sharpened slightly for the blog.





After posing outside the nest, Barbara flew to a nearby cypress tree. Although the light could have been better, I was happy she was posing near some budding limbs. I had to bump my ISO to 3200 to get these, but I was able to take out most of the noise in Lightroom. Overall, I am happy with this set. I hope my sweet Canadian friends were able to get some shots. Canadians are just the nicest people!

Sharing with Eileen at Saturday's Critters and Anni at I'd Rather B' Birdin'. Thank you hosts!

40 comments:

Buttons said...

Thanks Gail:) Oh I love the photos of Barbara she is so beautiful. I be your new Canadian friends say the same thing about their American friend. I do Hug B

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

The barred owls have such delicious coloring... fine captures Gail! xo

Stewart M said...

Too many memory cards would not be enough for a bird like that!

Nice post.

I'll book in the Barred Owl tick for my next visit!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

R. Mac Wheeler said...

Barbara is beautiful

I'm glad you finally got to see one of them. Yeah.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Wow she is so beautiful. I love the picture in flight. Owls are such gorgeous creatures.

Terri @ Backward B Ranch said...

Oh gosh- she's a beaut, and how lucky to be close enough not to have to worry about whether you can zoom in enough to capture her. Nice shots!

Linda R said...

WOW!! These are such awesome shots. You made me giggle this morning with the paparazzi comment. I can just picture it.

Hugs~

bailey-road.com said...

Beautiful captures, Gail.

Irma said...

Beautiful pictures, Gail,
This beautiful owls, pictures 4 and 5 are really great.
Greetings Irma

Karen said...

B&B are gorgeous! You got fabulous shots Gail! The last one is my fave!

TexWisGirl said...

i just love these sweet-faced owls! adorable! glad you and your new friends got to see them!

hootnonny said...

Love the life that the green gives to the images. I really needed a dose of spring and that helped!

Evelyn S. said...

How fortunate that Barbara and Barry are so accommodating! Your bird photos continue to amaze me.

DeniseinVA said...

Oh my goodness, those are fantastic photographs of the barred owl's. Incredible! And thank you so much for visiting and wishing Gregg a happy birthday. Have a great day! :)

Joey Resciniti said...

That bird has some nice camouflage. Wow! What a great experience that was to see her!

Hilary said...

Absolutely wonderful photos, Gail. I'm amazed that you have such clarity at a 3200 ISO! I will have to check into Lightroom for sure. There are so many times that I'm disappointed with the noise in my low light photos. And either I don't know what I'm doing, or Photoshop doesn't help much.

Wally Jones said...

A bird really made to live in a swamp! Wonderful rich coloration, big dark eyes and the ability to fly within inches of you and never make a sound.

Gail, your photographs perfectly captured the essence of the Barred Owl!

Very nice.

Gunilla B├Ąck said...

Awesome photos of this gorgeous owl!

Charlotte Wilson said...

Oh Gail, I am so delighted to see these two owls. What captures! And so nice that you and DD met some new birders.

charlotte

Petra said...

The Canadians must have been thrilled to meet that opportunity to see and shoot the owl. I, too, can't believe that the high ISO hasn't left visible traces, the photos are great. I especially like the contrast of the fresh green with the brown owl and tree. Beautiful, Gail.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Amazing captures. What a glorious bird!

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

Wow, Gail! These are fabulous! The first two just make you feel like you could reach out and touch her. Then the one in flight...what a great shot. And then the two with the tiny green buds adding some interest and color to the photos. It was a good day, eh?

Brian King said...

They're beautiful owls! I'm glad they made an appearance for you!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Outstanding!!! Barbara is the star attraction...just look at that face!!

And, thanks for linking up at the Bird D'Pot while I was on hiatus.

DeniseinVA said...

Hi Gail, I am back again to answer your question about the bump on the pelican's beak. I was curious about that myself and looked it up. Apparently both male and female pelicans grow them to show their interest in breeding. When breeding season is over then the bump disappears.

DeniseinVA said...

Almost forgot, I also came back to thank you for wishing Gregg a happy birthday. And then I have enjoyed looking at these beautiful barred owls again too :)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

So wonderful! I am in awe of your beautiful pictures. It's wonderful that Barbara came out to pose. (Even the best mom has to get away once in a while.)

Renae of Simple Sequins said...

She is a smart bird, she is. wow.

good news!

Biopsy says ZERO cancer in right breast!!! Yay!!!! So just a lumpectomy for the two lumps in the left.

Whew ~ Your prayers were so helpful and I am so grateful! ♥

eileeninmd said...

Gail, I love your Barred Owl and all the photos. AWESOME!!

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

You get such fabulous photos. Love owls. Dianne

A View From A Brown Dog said...

Oh my goodness Gail she is gorgeous! What a beautiful series and you've captured her so perfectly.

Deanna said...

Oh I am lovin' those images with Barbara in the cypress tree...that added green is perfect. Wow, how lucky for all of you to capture such beauty!!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Being a Canadian myself,I am so glad you had a good experience with these folks. The pictures you have here are simply amazing.

Debbie said...

Amazing captures, Barbara is a beauty!!

You are so lucky to have seen such a beautiful, majestic creature!!

June Caedmon said...

How wonderful, Gail! So exciting!!!

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

These are breathtaking! She is a beauty, and you captured some wonderful shots. This post was such a treat for me--thank you!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Really great photos, Gail. Nice job pushing the ISO, and no noticeable noise that I can see.

Anvilcloud said...

What a delight for the Canucks to get all of the way from the Arctic to Down South. Thanks for giving them some advice. I hope you didn't have to shout because their ears were still frozen.

Anita Johnson said...

So jealous...what a great experience!

maryaustria said...

Wow! These photos are stunning! Absolutely amazing!