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!!

Comments

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

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  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).

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

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

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  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!

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  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!!!

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  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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