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A Little Owl In HIs Tree
Lens: SMC Pentax-DA* 300mm F4 Camera: K-1 ii Photo Location: Northwestern California ISO: 400 Shutter Speed: 1/90s Aperture: F6.7 
Posted By: angkymac, 10-03-2022, 04:42 PM

My grand-daughter's eyes are first-rate; she spotted this little guy in his natural state.
I have "improved" the situation by cropping out distractions and enhancing contrast and color.
Also, I "shone a light" on him in PP to brighten him in his home--so that we who wear eyeglasses can see him.
Before highlighting him, he appeared almost as a part (a limb?) of the boring gray tree trunk. But his eyes gave him away.
The closest identification I could get to this image is a Pygmy Owl.
He certainly is not very large, and the patterns mostly fit, though not quite the colors.
He wanted to sleep, but my big "eye" staring at him kept him awake and staring right back at me for the better part of an hour!
I hope he got enough sleep to get his hunting done in the evening.
Angky.
edit: Further study suggests that this little guy might be a Western Screech Owl.
I don't know basic identifiers to look for in owls, so I can only match pictures.

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Last edited by angkymac; 10-03-2022 at 05:47 PM. Reason: Add comment after posting.
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10-03-2022, 04:56 PM   #2
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Your granddaughter has some sharp eyes. It would have been very easy to miss this little beauty. I think you have done an excellent job in PP with it, and it still has a very natural look to it. I guess I hadn't noticed before that you already have the DA*300. That means all that you need now is the Irix 150 and the DA 35mm limited.
10-03-2022, 05:33 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ToddK Quote
Your granddaughter has some sharp eyes. It would have been very easy to miss this little beauty. I think you have done an excellent job in PP with it, and it still has a very natural look to it. I guess I hadn't noticed before that you already have the DA*300. That means all that you need now is the Irix 150 and the DA 35mm limited.
Now why did you go and say that I "need" the Irix 150 and the 35mm macros?!!!
You just added a whole barrel of fuel to the fire for another 3-month war between me and my wife!
She'll have to have an upgrade to her dishwasher before I can have even one of those lenses--and our dishwasher still works just fine!
("Just like your lenses work just fine!" she'll say!)
Well, anyway part of the enjoyment of photography has to do with the "interplay" between the pro person and the con person...
Glad you appreciated that owl. He is a cute little guy. Wish I could have gotten his little skinny stilt-like legs, but he backed down into his hole.
And not only "very easy to miss" him, I DID miss him!---took my grand-daughter quite a bit of pointing before I finally saw him.
Angky.
10-03-2022, 05:46 PM   #4
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Credit you grand daughter with the find. You made the captures and processed the shots to make the images. That little owl is a real beauty, probably not much bigger than an Eastern Screech Owl. Good work, Angky.

10-03-2022, 06:54 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by angkymac Quote
My grand-daughter's eyes are first-rate; she spotted this little guy in his natural state.
I have "improved" the situation by cropping out distractions and enhancing contrast and color.
Also, I "shone a light" on him in PP to brighten him in his home--so that we who wear eyeglasses can see him.
Before highlighting him, he appeared almost as a part (a limb?) of the boring gray tree trunk. But his eyes gave him away.
The closest identification I could get to this image is a Pygmy Owl.
He certainly is not very large, and the patterns mostly fit, though not quite the colors.
He wanted to sleep, but my big "eye" staring at him kept him awake and staring right back at me for the better part of an hour!
I hope he got enough sleep to get his hunting done in the evening.
Angky.
edit: Further study suggests that this little guy might be a Western Screech Owl.
I don't know basic identifiers to look for in owls, so I can only match pictures.
Well done my hats off to you and a great photo.
10-04-2022, 12:36 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikeNArk Quote
Credit you grand daughter with the find. You made the captures and processed the shots to make the images. That little owl is a real beauty, probably not much bigger than an Eastern Screech Owl. Good work, Angky.
The granddaughter gets the credit; she can see a gnat in a mosquito swarm!
That little owl is quite the interesting little fella! I don't know how to identify them, but he must be a screech owl--though we've never heard him.
Thanks for the note!
Angky.

---------- Post added 10-04-22 at 12:46 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by rhanz Quote
Well done my hats off to you and a great photo.
Thank you, sir! And I do appreciate the encouragement.
Angky.
10-04-2022, 09:13 PM   #7
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Great shot of a Western Screech Owl, Angky. Pygmys do not have the feather tufts on the sides of the top of the crown and they are smaller than this one.

10-05-2022, 10:08 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
Great shot of a Western Screech Owl, Angky. Pygmys do not have the feather tufts on the sides of the top of the crown and they are smaller than this one.
hank you much for that info; that confirms what I had begun to guess!
If pygmy owls are smaller even than this one, then they must be the "hummingbirds" of the owl kingdom because this was just a very little guy!
Appreciate your note!
Angky.
10-05-2022, 11:39 PM   #9
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an excellent find and well spotted.
10-06-2022, 04:56 AM   #10
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I have been hoping to see a screech owl for years. Just 2 days ago I was out before sunrise hoping to locate one by sound. I need you grand daughter to spot for me.

Nature rarely gives you a good subject with good light and a good vantage point together. PP is perfect for allowing us to see the scene. I like what you did.
10-06-2022, 07:46 AM   #11
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Wonderful shot! I love owls, but rarely see them! We hear eastern screech owls, great horned owls, and barred owls frequently, but they are so elusive I have only spotted them in the daytime on a couple occasions. You are very lucky, and thank you for posting such great photos!!
10-06-2022, 08:25 AM   #12
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Wow, great photo!
10-06-2022, 09:16 AM   #13
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Uh huh. Gets the nod. I like it. Been after an owl for 2 years or more. Unbelievably, I haven't happened upon one I could catch.
10-06-2022, 02:04 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by eaglem Quote
an excellent find and well spotted.
I will tell my granddaughter that her sharp eyes are much appreciated!
Angky.

---------- Post added 10-06-22 at 02:09 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
I have been hoping to see a screech owl for years. Just 2 days ago I was out before sunrise hoping to locate one by sound. I need you grand daughter to spot for me.

Nature rarely gives you a good subject with good light and a good vantage point together. PP is perfect for allowing us to see the scene. I like what you did.
I think I need my granddaughter to spot for me a lot more than she does! I rarely see any kind of animal or bird, although I know they are out there!
You certainly state the truth in what you said about nature giving good photos!!! That is the main thing I like about digital; I can create a decent image out of a poor one found.
Thanks for your note!
Angky.

---------- Post added 10-06-22 at 02:14 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by que es tu Quote
Wonderful shot! I love owls, but rarely see them! We hear eastern screech owls, great horned owls, and barred owls frequently, but they are so elusive I have only spotted them in the daytime on a couple occasions. You are very lucky, and thank you for posting such great photos!!
Thank you for your accolades!
Interestingly, my daughter and granddaughter were telling about a cougar they heard close by their home (they live in a semi-wild area). Now that we have found and identified that screech owl, I have to wonder if that was their "cougar"!
As you said, these owls are heard much more frequently than they are seen--and very noisy they can be! (This is the first I've seen, but I've heard them often enough.)
Angky.

---------- Post added 10-06-22 at 02:15 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by NatureHike Quote
Wow, great photo!
Thank you!
I didn't want to post it when I first took it because I thought it was too flat.
Glad you liked it!
Angky.

---------- Post added 10-06-22 at 02:18 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ForthComing Quote
Uh huh. Gets the nod. I like it. Been after an owl for 2 years or more. Unbelievably, I haven't happened upon one I could catch.
I do not find it hard to believe at all--that you cannot find and catch one!
These critters are very hard to see!
Without my granddaughter, I would have continued walking right on past this one.
Hopefully you'll see and capture one soon enough.
Angky.
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