Female Short-eared Owl (ID corrected)

Hi all, I don’t get here to the Avian section much, but that might change with my recent new camera kit.

Thank you, @Keith_Bauer and @TonyBaldasaro for helping me ID this lovely bird. I was shooting in our local NWR and stumbled upon this female Short-eared Owl nesting or maybe just hunkering down in the cold. At first I though she was a Harrier, but there’s no yellow on the beak and wow, such owl like features in face.

Specific Feedback Requested

Any comments appreciated.

Technical Details

600mm, 1/100sec @ f/8, ISO 1000
Slight crop and heavy vignette to reduce the clutter around her.


Not being a birder myself I have no idea what this is, but what an interesting-looking bird and great photo too.

Hi David! Sorry but I can’t help with the ID either. Nice shot though! I really like the eyes and the look she’s giving you. The frost in the grass is telling the story of cold too.

Can’t help with the id either, but I love this shot. She looks fairly big. Those eyes could stare a hole in you. :smile: They’re beautiful though. Like the background grass. She looks very comfortable and ready for winter. Thanks for sharing. I don’t see these birds here in the NE.

Pretty cool image.

I think this is a Short Eared Owl. The facial disk and markings on the face are consistent. I’m not certain though. The shape just doesn’t fit for a northern harrier. Hopefully other birders can help with a positive id.

Yes, most definitely a Short-eared Owl. How lucky are you to capture this image. They are not often found or photographed on the ground, they are crepuscular in that they hunt at dawn and dusk and spend the rest of their time typically nestled in somewhere.

Great image.

@Ronald_Murphy, @Steve_Kennedy, @Donna_Callais, @Keith_Bauer, and @TonyBaldasaro thank you all for the nice comments. Keith and Tony, thanks for the help with the ID.

Hi David
I can’t look away from though eyes. The frame is great, every thing being me to the Owls eye. Great photograph.

1 Like

Very nice shot, David! You certainly got the focus where it needed to be, on those eyes! I suspect part of the identification problem is the fact that it’s all fluffed up from the obvious cold (frosted grasses). The lighting on this shot is great also. Well done!

Wonderful image, and one for that matter that will make many of us envious :wink: … Usually hard to find and shy, so you stumbled upon a gem! But, as important, you got a very nice image out of it as well. the bird must have been resting, they are day-active owls so hunt during the day as well. Anyway, love it! Hans