Recently we saw a Short-eared Owl migrating over Pack Monadnock Raptor Migration Observatory in Peterborough, NH, a first record for that site. It was migrating during the day and popped up above the mountain in the midst of some ravens. Much excitement at seeing the first one there and it was a thrill.
The Short-eared Owl is one of my favorite owls. This medium-sized owl lives in open habitats, such as tundra, grasslands, fields, marshes, prairies and savannas, where it hunts small mammals. It breeds mostly in the far North and parts of the West and can be seen in winter in many parts of the country.
All the photos above, except the small bottom photo which is just a record shot of the owl over Pack Monadnock, are of a Short-eared Owl I saw on Christmas several years ago in the marshes of Salisbury Beach, MA. This owl mostly hunts at night, sometimes during the day. I was lucky it was out and gave me photo ops. This owl flies erratically like a moth and courses low over the ground. Photographing it in flight was a challenge (as usual!) I was thrilled to get some photos.
One of the wonderful things I love about capturing a bird in a photo is that you get to keep and cherish that moment. You can look at it again and again, re-experiencing the adventure and then sharing it with others.