Saturday Snapshot March 9: Great Horned Owl

Since I started birding last September, yesterday was the first time I saw an owl. Thanks to two ladies walking in the area pointing me to this Great Horned Owl.

Look how well he camouflaged himself on the tree. I wouldn’t have sighted him by myself. Can you see an owl on the tree?

See an owl

I must have walked 180° around him to shoot from all sides just to get a clear view. Here’s the back, see how well he blended with the tree?


A closer front view, eyes wide shut in the late afternoon. Of course, it was sleeping time for him:

Eyes Wide Shut

Half an hour later I went back there, hoping to catch him open his eyes for me. But no, he teased me with just a slit:

Eyes half-openedNo matter. It was a great sighting for me. And I know where to find them now. Apparently, this is father owl and his family is famous in the birding community. They even have their own WEBPAGE.


See Mama Owl nesting in this post.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce of At Home With Books. Do click on the link to see what others have posted.

Published by


If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

47 thoughts on “Saturday Snapshot March 9: Great Horned Owl”

  1. I wouldn’t have noticed the owl in the first photo if you hadn’t pointed out that an owl was in the photo. Great find and great photos! I’m a terrible spotter. Once I finally see a bird, then I wonder how I could have missed it.Maybe that’s why I’m so fond of cardinals.


    1. Cathy,

      LOL! Too bad we don’t see Cardinals here. All the birds blends with the environs so naturally. Once I took my eyes off him and looked back, I had trouble spotting him again.


  2. Oh it’s a beauty for sure. Yay for the ladies pointing the way! Seeing and photographing an owl in the wild is on my bucket list…


    1. Ellen,

      Should head over this way. Apparently this owl family has been around in that locale for a couple of years now and not moving anywhere else for the time being. The mother owl is nesting in a dead tree right across from the father. Do click on the link to their Webpage. 😉


  3. What a great photo, and how lucky you are to have spotted a horned owl. Can I be cheeky and ask if you know anything about water birds please? My Snapshot is unidentified birds on our little local lake – I can’t even tell if they are geese or ducks, they are not the usual birds at all! My Snapshot is at


    1. Christine,

      I consider myself still a beginner birder with just six months of ‘field observations’. I’m so late to the owl party. Everybody I talked to in that area knew about this Great Horned family. The water birds in your post sure are interesting, and their colours beautiful too. Try that link I left there to see if you can find anything there. Have enjoyed exchanging bird findings with you. 😉


      1. Arti, I just left a note on Christine’s site. What she found are mallard-Muscovy crosses. I wouldn’t have had a clue, except that we’re overrun with them around here. There are a lot of Muscovys and a zillion mallards, and they tend to get friendly. 😉

        The male mallards can have as little Muscovy showing as a white patch on the chest. Or,they can be nearly as mottled as the Muscovy. A mallard hen I knew hatched and raised seventeen babies one year. Two of them were part Muscovy – I always could identify them by their black and white markings. They look the same as the mallards when they hatch, and gain their markings later.

        Those two boys were around for at least four years. I taught the seventeen to come when they were called, and even after some left or met unhappier fates, those two males kept coming back. I could call them and they’d come running, lickety-split!


    1. laurelrainsnow,

      If not because of others pointing out and actually bringing me there, I wouldn’t have known. We birders sure are a community.


    1. Imkazmierczak,

      Do keep an eye on him/her and let me know more details. Your snapshots are creative. Thanks for leaving us with a link to your post. 😉


  4. What a great post! How exciting to see an owl like that, especially as it seems you’ll have a good chance of seeing them again, and maybe some babies….I’ve only seen one owl since I started birdwatching too, they’re not that easy. Great photos, I couldn’t see the owl at all in the first photo- some birdwatcher! Actually I like that our posts were quite similar this week- birds hiding out there in the open.


    1. Louise,

      Your ‘Ducks in the Monet pond’ is beautiful too! I’m sure it was quite a sight when you actually could see the ducks weaving among water lilies. This owl just sat there and slept. 😉


  5. Ah, the elusive Great-horned Owl! Nice find. Even though I know where a pair spend time I still have trouble finding them. From a distance they look like a bump on the tree.


    1. Leslie,

      They sure have perfect camouflage. I had trouble spotting him when I just looked away for a while or change my position. Now I know where to find him so it will be much easier now i hope.


  6. He ay have been teasing you with his eyes, but how very kind of him to move so you had that terrific blue background behind him! I’d take it. Tremendous shot and lens. And yes, his cover is amazing.


  7. I agree with Catherine, Arti. I would have definitely not noticed that feathered critter sleeping in that tree, either, had you not tipped me off to look for it. It does blend in well with the scenery, but what a lovely creature — and, as usual, another excellent shot!


    1. lameadventures,

      Same here. That was not the first time I went there but my first time sighting the Owl thanks to the ladies. They even led me all the way to that tree, or else, I’d be totally oblivious… as always.


    1. Stefanie,

      Thanks. And you know what, I think viewing him on screen looks more beautiful than in real life… since he’s so far away. But I’m glad I got a telelens, I can always appreciate my ‘catch’ on my computer. 😉


  8. I’ve never seen an owl in the wild. I’ve heard a lot of them, but I just can’t ever seem to spot them. Of course, I hardly could find the one in your photos! In the first pic, I had to enlarge it to see him! (Part of that’s my eyes, I’m sure.)

    We have burrowing owls, screech owls and pigmy owls. There may be more. They’re probably cute, but yours is majestic!


    1. Linda,

      Thanks for the reply to Christine’s query. Well, I see you’re knowledgeable not just in the realm of chicken (yes, still remember your Herzog clip) but ducks too. 😉

      As for the Owl, I was very fortunate that the ladies, seeing me carrying my camera, pointed me to him. I’ll sure go visit him again, now that I know where he lives. Next time I’ll be sure to take a pic of that dead tree where Mother Owl is nesting… albeit her appearance is rarer. Hopefully by spring or summer, we’ll see some young ones come out too.

      Do click on the link I’ve included at the end of my post to read about Mr. Owl’s family.


  9. I’ve said this before but your photos are always so lovely. Even with my good camera my focus is a little bit off. I think it’s my eyes! Bad eyesight and manual focus is not a good combination.


    1. Ti,

      Know what? I just used the Sports Auto cause I’ve trouble adjusting the focus too. I trust my camera more than my own eyes. 😉 Also, a tiny bit of adjustment on iPhoto after I’ve loaded it on my computer helps too. But I never adjust colors.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s