Short-eared Owl

Asio flammeus

24 February 2002

West Lebanon, Indiana County, PA

Mark A. McConaughy

Short-eared Owl on post along road near West Lebanon, Indiana County, Pennsylvania. The owls did not start to perch where I could get a picture of them until around sunset. I had actually packed away my own scope figuring that I wouldn't get a digital picture of them when one landed on a post. I took these two pictures through Margaret Higbee's scope. They are not the best, due to lighting conditions and distance. The pictures were grossly underexposed because the camera thought it should be a flash picture. I lightened them as much as I could without the photo falling apart in the computer. I do not know the exact maginification of the shot but it is probably around 90X. I had my camera set at 3X and I think Margaret had the zoom on hers set at around 30X which would yield a magnification of 90X.

The trip to see the Short-eared Owls was led by Marcy Cunkelman for the Todd Birding Club. The owls made their apparence just after 5 PM while it was still fairly sunny. They were flying back and forth over the reclaimed strip mines west of West Lebanon. These two photographs were taken a little after 6 PM just about at sunset . There were at least 3 Short-eared Owls flying around and they put on a nice show for the folks on the outing. Cars would drive by after the owls had landed on posts along the road, as in these shots. The owls would take off as the cars approached and we were afraid that they would hit the owls. Fortunately, none of the owls were hit by cars while we were there.

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