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Majestic Great Gray Owl
The statuesque, handsome Great Gray Owl is one that I have wanted to photograph for a long time. I finally got my opportunity while on a trip to Minnesota’s Sax-Zim Bog, and was so excited when finally, there s/he was! It was on a cold late afternoon that I was treated to this beautiful bird’s presence, and s/he stayed put for a short time before flying away from us into the woods behind, chasing some small prey.
It was snowing lightly at the time, but the snow was not very visible in the photo, so I worked this image to bring out the snowflakes.
In the stillness of a cold mountain meadow the elusive giant quietly floats on broad wings across meadows and openings in evergreen forests. Although the majestic Great Gray Owl is one of the tallest owls in the U.S., it’s just a ball of feathers — both the Great Horned Owl and Snowy Owl weigh more, and they have larger feet and talons. The Great Gray Owl is distributed across the Northern Hemisphere, and is the only species in the genus Strix found in both Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Great Gray Owls mostly live in the boreal forest with small populations in western mountains, but in some years they move farther south in search of food, giving some a unique opportunity to see this majestic owl.
Photo taken on February 21, 2019, in Minnesota.