Last night, I made my first photograph of an adult Northern Spotted Owl! Based on its size, I believe this individual is a female (the females are typically slightly larger than the males). I came across her just fifteen feet from a trail, where she was perched, watching over her two, playful owlets from a distance. I had been observing the young owls, but hadn’t noticed their mother until I was standing right next to her. When I finally realized I was so near this incredible woodland owl, I switched into super slow-motion mode. It was too dark to photograph her handheld, and so I began the process of unpacking my tripod from my backpack, mounting my gimbal head, securing my camera to the gimbal, and adjusting the tripod legs to stand firmly on the steep, leafy slope. Throughout the delicate process, I glanced at her periodically to read her energy and adjust mine accordingly, but to my delight, she was completely unbothered by me and my quiet, molasses-like movements. She watched me curiously for short stints, but I was far less interesting to her than the little rustlings of mice and other potential treats scurrying beneath the nearby leaf litter. When I finally got my gear in position, I photographed and enjoyed her mystical presence for ten minutes, until the sounds coming from one of the potential meals in the undergrowth tempted her from her mossy perch.
I think this is a curmudgeonly male Anna’s Hummingbird. He was perched in a low branch guarding his food source, a hummingbird feeder from other hummingbirds. He would chase away any other birds who would dare try and drink from “his” feeder.
📷 Nikon D500
🔭 Nikon 200-500mm f5.6E VR
💥 1/160 sec, f5.6, 400 ISO