Why don't I see owls?

People often remark to me that I am so lucky to always be seeing owls. I mention to them to them that most owl species are EXTREMELY tough to find because they are masters at camouflage. Combine that fact with the fact that most of them are strictly nocturnal and the challenge becomes even greater. Most of the owls that I’ve found have either been by accident or via a tip from a fellow birder. I thought it would be a good idea to take a couple of pictures to illustrate how hard it is to find Long Eared and Short Eared Owls even when you know where to look.

I actually walked past one of the LEO’s on my last owl prowl even though it was relatively out in the open.

I also pointed out two other owls to folks who had been looking for the owls for about 20 minutes. Can you see them?

As you can tell from the Short Eared Owl pictures below, their habitat is perfect for camouflaging them.

The point of this post is that owl are out there, we just need to take the time and effort to look for them. As you can see from my pictures, even when you know where to look owls are mostly hard to find. I often wonder how many owls I’ve walked past in my life without even thinking about it. By the way, the last picture (second picture in the Short Eared Owl set) doesn’t have an owl in it, sorry ;-) The rest of the photos definitely have an owl in them, did you manage to track of all them down?
My IBWO poll on my blog will be closing soon and my next poll (The hoo in taboo) will be owl-related so stay tuned!


thepowerguides said...

no wonder I only ever spot one once in a blue moon , we hear screech owls here quite a bit in the summer but have never seen one , even knowing they were in the photos i had trouble finding them all


mon@rch said...

I so agree and probably hear more owls than see! Great post!

Elaine Rimbach said...

I can't see anything really in any of the photos, but I'm going to say that two photos are short-eared owls simply because of the terrain and the time of day.

RuthieJ said...

I could only see the LEO in the first picture. I have a hard time spotting birds in the forest until they move and owls don't move much, so I usually only hear them.

Owlman said...

The LEOs are tough to see in the first few pictures. Honestly these guys were tough to see with the naked eye and if I didn't know they were in the area I wouldn't have seen them. I always wonder how many owls I've walked right by....