Readers’ wildlife photos

February 12, 2023 • 8:15 am

It’s Sunday: a day for themed photos of birds by John Avise. John’s IDs and notes are indented, and you can click on his photos to enlarge them.


Many people nearly apotheosize a particular animal group, be it cats, ducks, wolves, elephants, eagles, or pandas.  Another revered category of charismatic megafauna involves the mostly nocturnal denizens that are the subject of this week’s post.  All of these owl species can be found in North America, especially if you’re very lucky or willing to search for the birds after dark.  The state where I took each photograph is shown in parentheses.  The Snowy Owl was an amazing vagrant that created great excitement when it showed up in Southern California in December of 2022.

A sleepy Barn Owl, Tyto alba (California):

Barn Owl head portrait:

Another Barn Owl head portrait:

Barn Owl talons:

Barred Owl, Strix varia (Louisiana):

Burrowing Owls, Athene canicularia (California):

Burrowing Owl head portrait:

Burrowing Owl’s nesting burrow:

Eastern Screech-Owl, Otus asio (Texas):

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Glaucidium brasilianum (Texas):

Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus (California):

Great Horned Owl head portrait:

Great Horned Owl chick:

Snowy Owl, Nyctea scandiaca (California):

Snowy Owl head portrait:

7 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Wonderful photos of these truly amazing birds, thank you. Also, very appropriate for today since apparently owls are Super Bowl mascots of sorts (due to some long ago typo Superb Owls).

  2. I have never been able to actually locate a Great Horned Owl. I’ve heard them many times, but I can’t ever seem to locate them. Barred owls I’ve seen by the dozen, I once got the crap scared out of me by an Eastern Screech Owl when I disturbed it in a thicket and it flew straight at me at eye level, and only caught a blurry twilight glimpse of a Barn Owl.

    I really like the photo of your Screech Owl, looking like a grumpy old man who was woken up from his nap by rambunctious kids.

  3. Oddly, the Eastern Screech Owl (Otus asio) shares its scientific names with the Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) but in the reverse order! I wonder if there are any other pairs of species that share this nomenclatural oddity?

    I’m curious about the barn owl talons – why are there two metal bands?

    Great set of photos as usual John.

Leave a Reply