Monday, December 12, 2011

Snowy Owl (POTD December 12)

After hearing all the reports of Snowy Owls in South Delta I wanted to see if I could get some shots. Thankfully there was a more experienced birder who knew how to approach the birds without scaring them. Considering that Snowy Owls are endangered species, anyone photographing them needs to be very careful. During the colder days of late fall and winter food supplies are limited, so if people do not respect the owls space they might have to use more energy then needed, which would not good for their health (thus the health of the species as a whole).

The approach to this Snowy Owl was not easy, and it took over an hour to get within shooting range. During that entire time I had to be very cautious, as to not stress the Owl, which seemed to work. It is a good idea to stop and watch the bird from a distance to see what normal behaviour is before moving in.  Our plan was to slowly move, 2-4 feet every 5-10 minutes or so.  We planned to stop at any hint of stressing the Owl. During the course of our approach the owl did not seem concerned by the presence of myself and the other birder, and continued it's usual behaviour. After two hours of observation and shooting, the owl leisurely took off down the beach, most likely looking for prey.