Thursday, March 14, 2019
A ROOFTOP SNOWY OWL: THE EYES HAVE IT
My photoshoot of two Saturdays ago, when I photographed three eagles feasting on deer carcasses and later a hawk in a tree, was already spectacular. But as I was nearing home that day, I got an Audubon text that a Snowy Owl had been sighted in a neighborhood golf course. I wasn’t far from there, so I decided to check it out.
I spotted her almost immediately on a rooftop as I entered the neighborhood. She spotted me too, and we continued to stare at each other. I could tell right away from her eye markings that this was a different owl than I’d see before.
And she was waaay more animated than prior owls I’d photographed. From the side view, with those yellow eyes trained on me, she looked sinister. Was she giving me a warning?
I wasn’t sure why she was all hunched over with her wings gathered in but she continued to focus on me.
Suddenly, she threw her huge wing up over her body, partially covering her face. Such a dramatic owl I'd not seen before! I wish I knew whether there was a meaning to her actions.
The Snowy next straightened up and showed me her other side. I felt uneasy that she was so focused on me versus hunting for herself. Other owls I'd photographed concentrated on the fields where they were searching for food with an occasional glance at me, but this Snowy was fixated on me.
She dipped her head down, looking both coy and menacing. She showed me her beautiful white eye lashes in the process.
She turned back towards me and titled those yellow eyes down in my direction once again. I decided to be on my way so she could focus on finding food for herself vs. concentrating on me. Regardless, she provided me with one of the most interesting Snowy Owl subjects I’d ever seen.