This is one of the most difficult photo shoots that I’ve pulled off. I was walking through Appleton Farms and herd a bunch of Blue Jays scolding in a pine grove. After listing to the Jays bicker and complain for a while, I saw a large shape fly through the white pines. He landed in close to the trunk and was in the shadows. It was about 50 feet in the above ground and the pine grove was thick and dark.
The Blue Jays started to scatter as I came in, but the Barred Owl didn’t mind my presence. Eventually the Jays disappeared which perplexed me because the jays were not afraid to harass the owl, which may like to dine on jays, but they were afraid of me, a creature that has never tasted a jay.
Nevertheless, the Barred Owl was not the least bit afraid of me and let me take some shots. This is my favorite!
Eventually he found another branch and started preening as the sun started to go down. What you are seeing here is its foot with the claws retracted. For a brief moment, the sun peeked through the clouds.
Having captured my images, I left it in peace. Perhaps he was happy that I came by an spooked the jays away. Or maybe it just didn’t care.
Be sure to visit Wild Bird Wednesday this week.