Familiar Silhouette

Hawk Owl silouette

Hawk Owl silhouette

I still can’t believe my good fortune the other day when I “re-found” the Hawk Owl. The day had started out ordinary enough, and later on in the afternoon I went for a quick walk to check on a neighbor’s residence per their request. I had decided not to take along my binoculars as there wasn’t much action going on. It was the afternoon of December 5th and as soon as I was out in the front yard 3 Swans flew over, honking and looking for open water. I knew right then that I should run back and get my bins, but instead I kept on trudging through the snow.

After a bit I came across a familiar silhouette sitting in a tree by an open area under the power line. Auk!!! It’s my Hawk Owl!!! and I didn’t have my bins or my camera. I knew right then that instead of possibly spooking the bird I better just run home and get my camera. And that I did.

The Hawk Owl makes a striking silhouette and I can recognize that shape from quite a distance. Their bulky body shape and long tail are unmistakeable. It was late afternoon and the skies were a dull gray, the lighting was terrible for photography. 

Hawk Owl

Hawk Owl

Here’s the same photo, cropped and excessively brightened. I spent some time watching the Hawk Owl and taking lots of pictures. I would creep closer at every shot, being careful not to scare the Owl. I observed the Owl as he alertly watched flocks of Pine Grosbeaks fly over, and a couple of brave Chickadees came close and scolded the Owl. He didn’t move an inch and eventually the Chickadees moved on.  Finally I got pretty close as I climbed up a rock face so that we were on the same level. The temperature was only about 10 degrees above zero, but after my jog back to the house to get my camera, I was not cold. I sat out there close to an hour without any gloves as I never noticed or felt the cold.

Northern Hawk Owl

Northern Hawk Owl

I think this is my favorite photo from the afternoon. The surroundings look very mysterious and kind of spooky.

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