Harrier Hawk and a Short-Eared Owl

You Dirty Rat: Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS

A Guardian of Ga'Hoole: Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS

Please click on the images to view larger versions. Yesterday afternoon, I spent the day at Skagit Valley, in search of short-eared owls.  I found a few, but they were all far away.  However, I did manage to get one in-flight image (2nd shot above).  It was my first sighting of this majestic creature.  Their characteristic deep wing beats, tendency to fly relatively low to the ground, and large wind-span, allow them to be easily spotted from a distance.  The opening image is of a Harrier Hawk, clutching lunch (a rat) in its talons.  I hope you enjoy these!

  • Conrad
    February 22, 2011

    Well well well… look who is using his long glass! Well done man!

  • Nicole
    February 22, 2011

    Nooo… The poor little mousey!!!

  • Mahesh
    February 22, 2011

    Haha! Thanks, Conrad. I still have a long way to go before I catch up to you and Tony. I’m seriously considering the new 500mm when it comes out. 800mm is just too long and heavy for most in-flight shots. Now I just have to start saving up.

  • Ann
    February 22, 2011


  • Mahesh
    February 22, 2011

    Nicole, natural selection at work. 🙂

  • Mahesh
    February 22, 2011

    Ann, thanks! I was inspired after seeing the great shots Dileep got over the weekend.

  • Karen
    February 22, 2011

    These are wonderful!!!
    Thank you for sharing them. : )

  • Barb Michieli
    February 23, 2011

    I just LOVE the one catching the field mouse! Impeccable timing, Dr. Thapa!!!

  • Chris Budech
    February 23, 2011

    I’m a bit of a birder so really
    cool to see the pics.
    Now you’re gettinginto the Art Wolfe nature photo territory! Chris

  • Vic
    February 23, 2011


  • Sally Allison
    February 23, 2011

    Well worth a full day of waiting!

  • Laurie
    February 28, 2011

    Thanks for the amazing hawk shots, enjoyed by all who work w/ me in chilly Bay Area, CA whse

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