The great owl bonanza of 2013.

Monday was an exciting day.  I joined Rhett of Owlcentricity and his buddy, Julian, on an all day wild adventure to eastern Washington in search of every nonbirder's favorite bird: the owl.  It was crazy.  I am pretty sure it will be a long time before I can say I saw 13 owls in one day again.  15 total were seen but I missed two that we passed in the car.

We visited a lot of parks out there near the Snake River but rather than go into detail, I will just present you with the goods.  And there were a lot of goods.

Cooper's Hawk

 Great Horned Owl (#3 of 10 that day)

Belted Kingfisher

Northern Saw-whet Owl (dude did not care about us and went back to sleep)

Rough-legged Hawk

See an owl in there?

Barn Owl

                      Barn Owl feathers

 Dead Red-tailed Hawk, cause of death not apparent

 Great Horned Owl (#8, most likely the meanest sumbitch we encountered)

Black-billed Magpie

Likely Short-eared Owl

At sunset we stood around a dirt road along the train tracks where a Great Horned Owl was hunting and coyotes were howling at the rising full moon...  Listen to them on this video I put on Flickr.

Such an amazing day!  The final owl tallies for the group:

Great Horned Owl- 10
Northern Saw-whet Owl- 2
Barn Owl- 2
Short-eared Owl- 1

We also encountered several Rough-legged Hawks, a couple of likely Ferruginous Hawks, a Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk, and probably a million other awesome things I'm forgetting.  Enormous piles of thank yous to Rhett!  Good times!!


  1. What a day! And it doesn't hurt that it was sunny for some good photos.

  2. 1. SUPER cool. Nice captures. Who doesn't love an owl (besides their prey)?
    2. If anyone needs to perk up, try accidentally flushing a barn owl from a tree (that you didn't know was there). HEART ATTACK! SO beautiful, though...
    3. SO glad you mentioned the railroad & showed it's an active one 'cause when I saw the 10th photo (interesting, green, slightly rounded mesas) & the last, I thought, Gee, that looks a LOT like the area we took Amtrak through (once in my life).

  3. I love the Barn Owl in the Russian Olive! I'll be checking them all for owls from now on.

  4. Ugggghhhhhh Saw-whet Owls...I crave them.

  5. Cool owl, Post! Great sightings and photos. My favorites are the barn owl and the Saw Whet Owl. You have some beautiful scenic shots also. Great post, happy birding!

  6. Nice shots! When did you take all those lovely landscapes? The train, however, is my favorite.

    And what about the possible vocalizing Long-eared? Not confirmed but fairly likely...

    We worked our butts off for all those owls!!!

  7. WOW what a Hoot...get it, Hoot? Aw shucks I'm so Jealous!!! Want to see that Saw Whet, and the barn, havent seen one in the wilds!! Good Job you guys!


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