Saturday, May 26, 2012

Searching For Elves

Barred Owl
Another mission that is ongoing is the hunt for the great Elf Owl.  This year has been primarily a year of the Great Horned Owl.  So while I search for this little bird in the wild, I thought I'd review what I've seen so far.  Education is the best!  The above pictures were taken in Wisconsin at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary.  Granted I don't count these shots as part of my birding list, but I did do some research on them for future searches.  The Snowy Owl isn't found in Arizona nor is the Barred Owl.

Snowy Owl
But out in the wild jungle of our deserts, I did get shots of the Great Horned Owl.  This year was full of them!!!  And I took the opportunity to film them. 

It started with my first thrilling search at night inside a wash at Tanque Verde.  Then it all went downhill from there.  Owls nesting at my school, in trees, and the Great Horned Owl became an instant favorite:)

And while on my hunt for owls, I discovered the Western Screech Owl near Patagonia.  I have to admit that these are a bit tricky for me to spot.  Note how they blend in with their surroundings!:)

Western screech owl-sadly this owl was eaten by a hungry Cooper's Hawk in the winter of 2015

On a fun day trip to the Renaissance Festival in Florence, I was exposed to the Eagle Owl only found in Europe.  The relative of our own Great Horned Owl was MASSIVE and I wouldn't want to be on its bad side:)

The grace, curiousity, and beauty of this Barn Owl flew into view at the Buenos Aires Wildlife Park.  It was really a treat to see this gorgeous owl near....the barns:)  It flew near me watching me hike.

And then there is this Short Eared owl from the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary. Apparently they are here in Arizona.  So I'll be keeping my eyes open for not only the Elf, but for the Short Eared, Burrowing, and Flammulated Owls.  If a troll shows up, I'm outta there.....:)

As of August, 2015, I have not seen this owl in the wild.


  1. What a review! Great. For the burrowing owls you should find them around Tucson. They disappeared from the Water Ranch in Mesa though they are trying to have them back but you can find a lot of them along the canal next to the Chandler airport, they are protected and so much fun to look at.If yuo happen to pass by of course.

  2. Bardzo lubię sowy, a szczególnie te z "uszami" :-). Miło patrzeć na okazy przez Ciebie pokazane. Pozdrawiam.
    I really like the owl, and particularly those with "ears" :-). Nice to see you on the specimens shown. Yours.

  3. Wow, I just love all these owls. Great captures!

  4. What magnificent creatures they are! You have seen far more owls than I have. Wonderful photos of them all and the Western Screech Owl does have amazing camouflage!! Every time I see an old barn I have a peek inside in the hope of finding a Barn Owl but have never been lucky so far. Hope you are having a great weekend, we have sun and last :-)

  5. Oh wow Chris, those are so beautiful owls! I didn't know they can close those big eyes! That means they have the eyelids!

  6. great to see, no matter how you got the shots. :) i love to see my barreds here.

  7. Beautiful owl photos Chris. Any owl sighting is special but my favorite is the barn owl.

  8. Quite a wonderful collection of owl sightings. Hope you see more while in Wisconsin.

  9. A superb collection of owls! They are all so beautiful in their own way!

  10. These are fantastic shots. I didn't know you were a birder as well. I am semi-serious about it and keep a checklist. Shorebirds give me fits.

    Great post.

  11. Owls have the most awesome faces! I have tons of what I call Burrowing Owls here, but I may be misidentifying them.


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