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Watching the Sunset

Watching the Sunset
Photo Information
Copyright: Rick Price (Adanac) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-11-23
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 40D, Canon 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Owls, Master hunters! [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-11-24 5:15
Viewed: 3507
Points: 56
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hi All,
Late yesterday Lucy and I took a drive to Brooks to see if we could find where this unusual and very early concentration of Snowy Owls were. We found one area with 7 in about one square mile, and as we fanned out the strange part was other than that one area we found no other owls. The ones we saw were mostly sitting on power poles and oilfield equipment, thankfully we found this one perched on a fence post. Please read this posting from Alberta Birding that brought my attention to this phenomenon.

Subject: Re: 28 Snowy Owls in one-mile stretch.
From: "Linda Vaxvick"
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2008 06:18:54 -0000
In last weekend's Saskatoon Sun, an author from the Saskatoon Nature
Society wrote an article about sightings in Saskatchewan and Manitoba
of immature snowy owls in poor condition. He claimed that the lemming
population in the north boomed this summer, allowing many owls to be
raised. (I've read confirmations of this from an Alaska wildlife
webite, and also I've read that the eastern Arctic did not have a good
lemming year). It was not clear why the owls seen lately on the
prairies were starving, but the writer suggested that if the owls
could be safely caught, they could be taken to a local wildlife rehab
centre to be fed. I wonder if the sighting that started this posting
was of immatures and whether they were in good condition or not.
Alberta weather this fall has been better than in parts of SK, so the
local vole populations may be different.

--- In Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com, "Gus Yaki" wrote:
> The Meadow Voles, like the proverbial lemmings, are on an
approximate four year population cycle. Without checking the details,
I think that a female can give birth to a litter of six to ten young
every 21-28 days. Her offspring are mature, and producing young by the
time they are two months old. If there are few predators, and no
flooding conditions, it doesn't take long for their numbers to
escalate. When they reach peak numbers, they come under stress because
of shortage of food, and their close confinement allows diseases? to
be readily transmitted. At that point there is a massive die-off. From
the photos, they are occupying grasslands, presumably mostly native
species. This has provided plenty of food and cover, and with the dry
autumn this year, their numbers have exploded. Apparently the voles
are now at or near the peak of their population in the Brooks area.
Somehow all those Snowies have homed in on this extraordinary high
vole population. The owls are congregating for the food, not for any
social reasons. The vole numbers could crash at anytime, which will
force the owls to disperse, to find food elsewhere.

siggi, Miss_Piggy, bobcat08, fiyo, nagraj, Evelynn, PeterZ, SelenE, NinaM, PaulH, jaycee, nglen, pekkavalo1, eqshannon, Heaven, sandpiper2, star05, oanaotilia, Alex99 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-11-24 5:23]

Hello Rick.
Perfect image of this wonderful owl. You have composed shot nicely. Colour tones are selected perfectly too. The owl colours harmonize with BG colour tones excellently. Very suitable soft lighting.Best regards Siggi

Hallo Rick
I miss Lizzie with her Snowy Owls and here you present one to make the miss a bit better. A lovely photograph. I think if I ever get the opportunity to photograph a bird as beautiful as this, I’ll be so fascinated by its beauty, I might forget to push the button to snap it at the right time. Just looking at this photo I am so astounded by the wonderful detail of its eyes, its plumage, the fine feathers and the gorgeous detail on the feathers. This is an excellent close up which is well presented. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed looking at it.
Kind regards
Ps I wonder what happened to Lizzie?

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-11-24 6:24]

Hello Rick,
What a lovely capture of the Snowy Owl that I've only managed to see at a distance once!
I like its pose here and the fine light and sharp details. Well composed too.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hello Rick,

This is a perfect picture of the snowy owl. Beautiful pose, colors and position. Razorsharp with a great DOF and BG. Thanks for sharing.

Greetings and TFS BOB

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2008-11-24 7:11]

Hello Rick,
What a great shot! Nice detail in the bird, the background is great. TFS

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2008-11-24 7:21]

hi rick,
what a majestic bird this is, beautiful, good lighting and nice composition. good colors and details. tfs.

Oh man! What a great shot and an interesting post! I WANT TO PHOTOGRAPH A SNOWY OWL!!!!! Actually I'd be pretty happy just to see one in the wild... then of course I would cry if I didn't get a photo of it. I have heard before about the 4 year vole cycle. A local raptor center said that Snowies actually come to Oregon on a four year cycle but I don't hold our much hope for that

The light in your shot is lovely and I like the slightly angled post he is perched upon.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-11-24 8:13]

Hello Rick,
The light in this photo is very beautiful. It creates a warm atmosphere. Also beautiful colours. Very nice eyes-contact, great sharpness and a splendid BG and composition.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-11-24 9:04]

Hi Rick,
Very nice portrait of this beautiful snowy owl. I like the light, color tones, POV and the pose you captured. TFS
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-11-24 9:17]

Bonjour Rick, you and Lucy are just incredible to me, how do you find so many animals??!!! And what about seeing Snowy Owls, not one but many. Beautiful light in this picture, Rick, it's a perfect shot. I love the warmth of the light against the cold blue shadow on the bird. Bye bye!


Hi Rick
What a good composition and nice light;Great

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-11-24 10:12]

Hi Rick,
a beautiful capture of this Snowy Owl. Very well composed with wonderful light and excellent DOF. Glad to hear there's a good number of these lovely creatures in one spot! Interesting note.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-11-24 10:23]

Hi Rick,

I only see Snowy Owls on TN and just love it when there is a new post of one. You worked your magic once again and managed to have him look right at you with those pretty yellow eyes. A wonderful pose - as though he was glad to see you. Face and plummage are excellent and he looks fantastic against the blurred background.


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-11-24 12:57]

Hi Rick. You are so lucky to see this wonderful bird in your area. But you have taken this fine picture which lets us all see it as well. You have taken it with fine detail and natural colours . i like the warm glow from the sunset. I have read the most inetersting notes so thanks. TFS.

Hi Rick,
Very good picture of Snowy Owl. Very interesting to hear that there are sometimes great concentrations of these. Never heard anything like that happening in Europe. Good pose and composition, sharp details, good lighting and nice eye contact.

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-11-24 15:27]

Hello Rick! Indeed, there is a lot of Snowy Owls in southern Québec too. Your picture is so beautiful with that fantastic light, the eye-contact and the perfect sharpness! Congrats my friend!


hello rick,
excellent shot, the pov issuperb, nice sunset effect, the bg is nondistracting and smooth, sharp image with good details,
well done,
tfs & regards

You had some real depth here Rick. It is a stand out because of the..Hard to normally achieve but perchance you got real lucky:-) I know you are talented beyond your demure quiet...but this one is tops.!

Hi Rick!

It rather looks like the owl is looking straight into yours or the spectator's eyes! It's a wonderful picture, the bird is well highlighted by the soft evening light. The owl is just beautiful, and the simple composition shows this beauty at best.

Kind regards


Hi Rick

Great shot, lucky you in finding these finding these great looking owls.
Great light, excellent sharpness. Excellent composition on a great background.


Hi Rick,
Great image of the snowy owl with warm light and natural bg..
Interesting notes..TFS

Best regards,

Hello Rick,

Very nice capture of this owl. Very beautiful composition. Good focus. Good exposure with a difficult light. Superb colours.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-11-25 13:39]

Hi Rick,
a fantastic shot of this Snowy Owl.
Very good lighting.
Superb sharpness.
Great composition.

Excellent work!

Hi Rick!

I haven't seen a snowy for a while now on TN, it's so nice to see one, even so well photographed! I like the unusual lighting on it, and also the bg is unusual to see without snow. I don't fully get the point what's going on with them but I just hope they'll be OK. I love these birds, so TFS!

Best regards,

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-11-26 8:52]

Hi Rick.
What an elegant shot of a charming bird. Superb pose of the owl, its amazing feathers and glance, pleasant warm lighting and awesome composition/framing. My compliments and best regards.

Hello Rick

This is an awesome capture.
The light and colours are lovely.
You managed a super pose with excellent eye contact.
I hope ours return soon.


bonjour rick
c'est une tres belle et bonne image,l'exposition est relativement bonne malgré le blanc de l'oiseau.
j'aime beaucoup le fait qu'il regarde vers vous mais sans etre plus inquiet que cela!ici les oiseaux de proies s'envole bien avant que nous ne puissions en faire une telle photo.

Ciao Rick, great capture of lovely owl, beautiful blurry BG, superb sharpness, splendid light, fine details and wonderful colors, very well done, my friend, have a good Sunday, ciao Silvio

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