Friday, March 7, 2014
This week I saw and photographed my first wild Snowy Owls! It's an irruption year for Snowy Owls who are visiting us in good numbers. I have been watching the reports in my area, but with my focus being on landscape photography rather than wildlife, I wasn't prepared.
I traded my long lens and crop frame camera for a full frame camera with wider lenses about a year ago. I realized I could rent a lens if the time came. With winter's days numbered, the time had arrived. The 2005 Great Gray Owl irruption was before my time and I always wished I was there to be a part of it. Well I didn't want to let this one pass by.
I'm shooting with a Canon 6D and I rented a Canon 400mm f/5.6 L lens. The 6D is a bit slow for wildlife photography at 4.5 fps. The full frame camera isn't exactly ideal depending on whether you need some extra reach. But it ended up working out just fine!
We arrived at the Sax Zim Bog at around 8:00am and found our first owl in less than 10 minutes. It was a Great Gray but is was off in the distance hunting. We found our first Snowy Owl about 5 minutes after that. Sitting on the roof of a house along a busy road. We decided to check another spot and we found this beautiful bird hunting a wide open field with fresh snow.
I just can't get over the beauty of these birds. It was amazing seeing this arctic beauty right here in Minnesota. If you live in the northern part of the United States I suggest looking for reports in your area. It could be there are Snowy Owls right in your neighborhood.