Hearing of a Great Gray Owl within a couple hours’ drive will perk many a birders ear and it more than perked mine! It wouldn’t be until yesterday (Wednesday the 28th) that the lighting would be nice and I would have an opportunity to take a day and head over. I left the house at 3:45am, picked up my good friend in Marshall and we were on our way to Canada, eh!
We made it in record time with dry roads and very little traffic. After getting through the border, we were at the spot by 6:50am; more than enough time before sun-up. As luck would have it, the bird was still there and we set up shop for the remainder of the day. The bird had been given a squirrel the evening before and was content to sit in the brush the entire day while occasionally feeding on its large handout. Whether right or wrong (let’s not get into that here), this was done the day prior and is the likely reason the bird stayed on the ground the entire day. For the most part, all visitors were respectful during our visit. It spent most the day in a slumber but every 60-90 minutes, it would awake and spend time ripping apart and devouring the squirrel. It finally took flight after 8 hours of sitting and waiting and as misfortune would have it, it flew away and perched on the ground, yet again, this time in brush so thick, we wouldn’t see it again for the day.
As disappointing as it was not getting flight shots or open perched shots of the bird, we were fortunate enough to see this northern specialty and come away with a couple head shots of this very approachable bird. All in all, a very successful day!