John Vander Ploeg's picture

The Watcher

Portrait of a Great Gray Owl. I wanted to portray this beautiful owl in its element, at night. Perched high in a tree watching for a meal.

400mm · f/6.3 · 1/400s · ISO 12800
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Slayed this shot! You really do great with wildlife. I'd love to pick your brain about how you find owls. I've never even seen one much less photographed them.

Watch and Listen for the crows. I don't know if they'll point out a Great Grey, but they really go after great horned owls.

Thanks man! Owls are tricky for sure, to be honest I haven’t had much luck myself. This shot as well as my snowy owl shot were taken at the woodland park zoo. The biggest recommendation I can give you is to download the eBird app, which will show you locations where people have recorded sightings. Also, join a local birding group on Facebook and you will likely get some ideas. Some owls like short ears are active in the morning and at dusk and are easier to find. If you can make your way to okanogon county apparently that’s the place for great grays. Also, learn their calls, they don’t always sound like you think they do. Hope that helps!

This is simply awesome...