Sunday, March 31, 2013

Local Screech Owl

Our neighbor called one evening and said he had owls in his barn.  He said he thought they were barn owls.  Just as we arrived a Barn Owl flew from the barn and flew across the field to the woods.  We thought we had missed the opportunity but went in the barn for a look.  There sat a little screech owl!  he posed for us and then continued his nap :)

Until Next time

Jim Borden

Friday, March 8, 2013

Boreal Owl and Gray Partridge

Boreal Owl
I traveled back to Ontario Canada for the third time in a month in search of owls and other birds of the North.  Thanks to contacts in Ottawa (Wilson Hum and Bruce Di Labio ) I was able to add the Boreal Owl to my life list.  The cute little bird was nestled in a cluster of spruce trees.  I had to crawl back into the center of the cluster to get a clear shot of the owl.  It was not at all disturbed by our presence.  As there is still much controversy about flash photography and owls, I prefer not to use any form of fill flash on them.  Therefore, the low light capability of the Nikon D4 body came in real handy.  I shot from tripod with Nikon D4 and Nikon 300 f4 lens at f7.1 with a shutter speed of 1/320 and ISO 4000.  Even using f7.1, the depth of field at this subject distance did not allow for the full depth of field of the owl (notice out of focus feathers at back of head).   I watched as others attempted to shoot handheld with cameras incapable of clean images at this lighting due to elevated ISO.  My point is that the camera does not do the shooting and we have to do the framing, composition and get exposure right and teh higher technology camera bodies add a tool to our toolbox to allow us to get images we would not otherwise get. 

The owl opened its eyes slightly and looked as a lady fumbled in the 18 to 20 inches of snow to get to see the owl.  We retreated from the area to let the owl alone. 

Gray Partridge

I toured the area in search of other owls and birds. I was out looking for snowy owls when I came upon four Gray Partridge running around on top of the snow.  I saw two more Great Gray Owls near dark and the setting was terrible for getting good images-so I sat and enjoyed their presence.  I look forward to returning to the north country next winter. 

Until next time

Jim Borden