Well I got to knock another one off the “bucket list”. A few months ago I heard an owl call behind our Northern Wisconsin cabin nestled in the beautiful Chequamegon National Forest. I did some research and was excited to identify it as a Northern Saw Whet Owl, though I wanted to trek back into the woods and located these little guys, sadly my schedule wasn’t allowing me the opportunity.
Fast forward to the COVID 19 virus crisis while doing my part to stay at home and social distancing myself, I heard a series of calls from these guys before the sun shed any light. I thought maybe I would grab the camera along with Maggie Mae our new rescue lab and see if I could track them down. When I came in to check emails and listen to the latest news while the sun was coming up, I saw a bird in the low light fly by our picture windows, nothing too unusual, until I heard those calls coming from the pine tree just out my window loud enough that I could hear it over the TV. Okay, now I need to get out there ASAP, so I grabbed some warm clothes, camera, etc. By the time I got out the door quietly, I was disappointed not to hear any further calls. So I got creative and thought maybe I could call them in close enough to get some images, heck I call in Barred Owls with my voice, so lets give it a try. Within minutes of calling I got some response calls, moments later sure enough one flew directly in front of me and landed in a tree. Now as much a boy scout that I was, I wasn’t prepared with neither a tripod nor a monopod and lighting was not optimal to say the least. I thought okay, let’s put this Canon R with a 600mm F4 II a try in low light, high ISO, handheld and trust me I was shaking with excitement. After an hour or so with the pair in various backgrounds, I’ll let you be a judge of how they turned out. Nonetheless, this was one of my top interludes with wildlife, it took me a few hours to chill after capturing these rare little guys.