3 days ago
The text message was short, "Do you want to see a Western Screech Owl?". That akin to asking me if I want to breath. I called out to my beautiful bride and asked if she wanted to shoot over to Battiste's Bed, Breakfast and Birds to see an Owl. She answered with, "You had me at Owl." I quickly dumped the Chili I was in the middle of cooking into a slow cooker, and we jumped in the car and headed to the B&B.
What Tony didn't tell me was that the Owl was wide open in a deep, low cavity of a gnarly old tree. That is not something that happens often. At least not to me. The Western Screech Owl is only about eight inches tall and has only been a tiny spot in a tree in my past sightings. This viewing was another of the many southern Arizona dreams come true. We spent about 30 minutes with the bird, limiting our time so as not to disturb it. It was more than ample time to get some pictures and video.
Afterward, we retreated to the blind in the B&B's backyard, taking in the incredible landscape architecture while watching dozens of hummingbirds race about. There was Violet Crowned, Costa, a possible Lucifers and the other usual suspects. I could have spent the day there, but ultimately, I had to get back to the chili. In about seven hours it will be done. I can't wait. It will be a perfect end to what, so far, is an extraordinary day.
Western Screech Owl I
Shoot Date: September 21, 2018
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Manual ¹⁄₅₀₀ sec at f/5.6 0 EV
Lens: EF400mm f/2.8L USM +2x @ 800 mm
ISO: 500 —-
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