Northern Hawk Owls are so Yesterday!

A friend wanted to go up to Sax-Zim Bog. He had heard about all the Northern Hawk Owls which normally is a rare bird. Looking at the advanced weather forecast I said Thursday! Although I knew today would be cold, it also was forecasted to have decent light and low winds. While sunny skies mean Great Gray Owls retreat into the heavy forest shortly after sunrise, Northern Hawk Owls do not care about light.

Thus, our plan was to arrive 20 minutes before sunup and look for owls, and ignore any hawk owls we saw. This plan worked perfectly and within a few minutes we have found two great grays, one of which was very cooperative in terms of hunting for us … catching two voles in the waning moments of the night. As expected, 20 minutes after sunrise the Great Gray said good-bye to us and retreated into the deep Bog.

We then shifted our efforts over to the hawk owls (we saw three unique individuals) and enjoyed their hunting efforts. However, one thing cool about Hawk Owls is they often perch on the highest tree in the vicinity. Without exception this always means the owl will get attacked by some local birds. Just set up shot and wait. Here are some of my efforts from today.

A Pileated Woodpecker … taking a break between attacking the owl

Pileated and Northern Hawk Owl

Great Gray before Sunrise

A few more Northern Hawk Owl Images

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