January 25th, 2013 – Avian Friday: Night Flyer
Here’s a shot from a recent outing at West 90 in the town of Edison. The area is known for various species of raptors that winter and migrate through the Skagit Valley. The open fields near the adjacent Padilla Bay estuary are a source of voles and other small rodents that hawks and owls prey on. Usually about an hour before dusk the Short-eared Owls take flight and start hunting, but for some reason that day they were not active at all until the light started to fade. I had to crank up the ISO a bit and struggled to get the auto-focus to lock on, but managed to grab a couple decent frames on my way out as it was starting to get dark. This is a major crop from the original frame and had noise reduction applied to both the bird and background.
Short-Eared Owl (Asio flammeus)
700mm | 1/250th Sec. @f/7.1 | ISO 1600
Canon 5D Mark III+ Canon EF 500/4L IS USM + 1.4X Rear Adapter
Processed with Lightroom 4, Photoshop CS5.
Feel free to comment below if you like what you see or have any other observations.
Thanks for stopping by,