Posted by: atowhee | November 7, 2017

SNOW, COLD AND OWL–IN SOUTHERN CASCADES

My friend, Peter Thiemann, sent me these pictures after the first major snowfall in southern Oregon’s mountains.  Bravo.  Peter and I wrote the book on Great Gray Owls in California, Oregon and Washington.  He’s the photographer supreme, and supremely patient.  These images demand a day in the snow.FullSizeRender (1)An owl in winter.  In this case a Great Gray Owl hunting after new snow has fallen.  Thiws bird needs three to four small mammals per day to keep strong and healthy but under severe conditions these birds have been known to lose 75% of normal body weight and survive.  They also can persevere in extreme cold.  They winter in northern Canada and Scandanavia so these Oregon owls live in sub-tropical ease compared to their cousins.FullSizeRender (2)FullSizeRender (3)These owls have especially long and flexible feathers, here puffed out to keep warm, even down onto the toes and talons. They often catch prey they detect beneath the snow, grabbing a vole or shrew they cannot see, but can hear.  The ears are beneath those large facial discs that collect and funnel even the slightest sound.FullSizeRender

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Responses

  1. Superb! I always feel better when a ggo picture graces my path – even though it is just a picture. Thanks,

    m a


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