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Great Gray Owl

Strix nebulosa

Description:

This large owl's size is partially attributable to its fluffy feathers. Still, it is a very impressive bird of prey. Its head is large and rounded. Predominant color is gray or grayish brown.

Habitat:

Generally associated with boreal forests. In some winters when prey populations crash, these big birds head south in what is known as an "irruption", in an attempt to find food.

Notes:

I got this photo In the winter of 2004-2005 during a massive irruption of northern owls, which occurred in Minnesota and other northern states. Usually I see one or two on winter days in northern Minnesota when looking for them. That particular winter I was seeing up to 65 of these birds a day. They are not particularly afraid of humans and cars so photography can be very good. However, that lack of fear also led to many being hit by cars as the owls hunted along roadways.

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12 Comments

Harsha Singh
Harsha Singh 8 years ago

Great picture. Love the hues.

harsuame
harsuame 8 years ago

Espectacular::

Gordon Dietzman
Gordon Dietzman 8 years ago

Christy, No problem. I'm surprised I remembered you mentioning it...grin.

ChristyHolland
ChristyHolland 8 years ago

Ha! Sorry for the redundancy!! Your shot definitely makes me think of him!!
;-)

CarolSnowMilne
CarolSnowMilne 8 years ago

Fantastic!

Gordon Dietzman
Gordon Dietzman 8 years ago

Christy, I remember you mentioning that the center had a great gray. Phantom is a really good name for these spectacular and elusive birds. The photo was taken right at sunset and the setting was absolutely perfect for owl photography, with the dark, mysterious forest in the background and the strong lighting as the sun sank. And those eyes!

ChristyHolland
ChristyHolland 8 years ago

Love love love this Gordon!! We had a resident Great Grey named Phantom at our rehab facility here in Colorado...and I loved being around him!! These are one of my favorites, and you captured him (her?) beautifully!!!

Smith'sZoo
Smith'sZoo 8 years ago

a true beauty...

Gordon Dietzman
Gordon Dietzman 8 years ago

Yes, this is one of my favorite all time shots. This owl was hunting along this forest edge as the sun was setting. Picture perfect! We rare see great grays here in Minnesota, although we have a few living here, but they are rarely seen, except during irruptions.

Smith'sZoo
Smith'sZoo 9 years ago

Super shot! Well done Gordon!

Gordon Dietzman
Gordon Dietzman 9 years ago

Thanks Lois...

LoisStacey
LoisStacey 9 years ago

Nice spot and fantastic picture!!

Gordon Dietzman
Spotted by
Gordon Dietzman

Minnesota, USA

Spotted on Feb 12, 2005
Submitted on Sep 19, 2012

Reference

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