Great Gray Owl -2
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|From my trip to Ottawa this past weekend.|
Description: This is the largest Owl in North America although it is not the most massive. Males and females are identical in plumage except that the females may appear slightly darker. Distinctively large facial disk of light gray with darker gray or brown concentric rings. Facial disk has a thin dark brown border that becomes white along the bottom edge. Has a black chin with white along the sides that run into the bottom white border of the facial disk (sometimes referred to as a "white mustache and black bow tie"). Conspicuous white eyebrows and lores. The Great Gray has a large round head and lacks ear tufts. The general colors of the upper parts are grayish-brown to sooty brown broken by transverse mottling of grayish-white and dark with scattered short dark streaks. The owl becomes more brown with age. The bottom portion of the wings (primaries and secondaries) and the tail are barred with dark and light gray. The under parts are a grayish-white with dark grayish-brown streaks. The iris of the eyes are lemon yellow and the bill is bright yellow to pale olive green.
Young: Initially the young have a grayish down above and white down below. The juveniles are olive-brown with dark bars and white spots above. Light gray- white below with dark bars; bold black facial marks. Adult plumage develops over the first 5 months but first year birds have white tipped flight feathers.
Habitat: The Great Gray Owl inhabits many types of forests in North America. It favors dense coniferous forests with close proximity to muskegs, meadows or open fields. This combination allows conifer nesting and roosting along with the abundance of small rodents that occur in forest openings. In the Sierra Nevadas of California the Great Gray is a summer resident from 4000 -7000 ft. in elevation and winter resident from 3000 - 5000 ft. Nesting and summer records seem to concentrate in the 6000 - 7000 ft. meadows although there are nesting records as low as 2800 ft. and as high as 11,000 ft. They breed in mixed-conifer forests from 3000 - 6000 ft. and red fir from 6000 - 9000 ft. in elevation. The owls are prone to moving into the higher lodgepole pines in the late summer. In the winter the records seem to concentrate around the 4000 ft. level. Other records including the Palearctic habitat ranges are from sea level to 3200 ft. Other breeding habitats include tamarack forests (Manitoba), tamarack-black spruce, forested wetlands (Saskatchewan), black ash / basswood (Minnesota), and balsam poplars / white spruce (Alaska).
Food and Feeding: The Great Gray Owl's diet consists of almost entirely small rodents. About 90% of their diet consists of pocket gophers and voles. Other small mammals taken by the owl include mice, squirrels, young rabbits, hares, rats, moles, and weasels. Also taken are birds, usually small, although there are records of Sharp-shinned Hawks, ducks, and grouse. Small mammals are usually swallowed whole while larger prey is torn into pieces. The Great Gray can also detect prey under the snow by sound alone and will dive into the snow for hidden prey. Generally they hunt from a perch by listening and watching. Primarily a nocturnal and crepuscular owl but may occasionally hunt by day on dark overcast days during the winter months, and while feeding young.
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- [2013-02-12 0:11]
another great one, although I prefer the first one
Did you feed them?
- [2013-02-12 12:41]
Very nice portrait of a beautiful flying owl.
Excellent colours and perfectly sharpness details.
- [2013-02-12 14:34]
Hi Peter,a top class pic,what a spectacle made bu this owl and by your hands and your camera,the top of perfection of details,colors in the best exposure,i like it!Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano
Terrific photo of this Great Gray Owl. Excellent timing to catch this amazing pose. Great detail and colour.
Thanks for sharing
Great moment and fantastic capture.Great frontal POV,superb close composition,wonderful natural colours and excellent sharpness.Thank You.
Have a good day!