Readers’ wildlife photos

September 14, 2022 • 8:00 am

Today we have some barred owl photos from Richard Kleinknecht. His captions are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.

These photos, taken by my neighbor, were shot in King County, WA, less than an hour from Seattle.  Barred Owls (Strix varia), as do many other owls, mate for life (~20 years) and the pair shown in the photo have been nesting in or near my neighbor’s back yard for several years now.

Barred Owls take good care of their young.  Owlets will walk out of their nest in about 30-40 days after hatching, perhaps two months before they reach adulthood and can fly from the nest.  They climb around on trees using legs, talons, beaks, and wings for balance as they climb, and their parents bring them food until they are able to fly and hunt on their own.

Ever on the lookout for lunch, a Barred Owl has become aware of a Barn Swallow nest under the eave of my neighbor’s house.

The Owl has captured a Barn Swallow nestling (Hirundo rustica) and is preparing to swallow it whole, headfirst.  The Owl was seen, but not photographed, taking all nestlings, one at a time, and giving at least one to another Owl.

Barred Owls have a diet consisting of small mammals, other birds, and invertebrates.  They have been seen eating earthworms and slugs from the forest floor and we have a picture of a forager doing just that.

JAC: I’ve added a short video in which you can hear the call of a barred owl:

Finalists: 2021 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

September 3, 2021 • 2:15 pm

I love wildlife photography contests, but am always surprised that the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards is among the best of them. I’m not sure why, as animals aren’t usually doing funny stuff, but it may be a combination of humorous photographers and discerning judges.

At any rate, the finalists for the 2021 Awards have been announced, and you can see them online here, along with previous years’ winners as well. There are a LOT of good entries, and I’ll show you just a few of my favorites among the finalists. This seems an appropriate way to start the three-day weekend (Labor Day). Thanks to the several readers who sent me these links.

. . . and my favorite.  WHO’S a bad otter?