2020—Barred Owl

Sax-Zim Bog near Lake Superior in Minnesota is my second photography adventure in two weeks in search of owls. Sax-Zim Bog is a 300 square mile habitat and nature preserve that includes bogs and lakes and meadows and farmland. It is maintained by volunteers and friends of the bog who graciously host feeders and habitat at their homes and on their land so that the many species of boreal and other birds continue to thrive here. It is a labor of love. The snow is several feet deep off the roads and the temperatures hover in the low single digits dropping into the sub-zero range at night and when the wind whips up. Four species of owl live in the bog including the Great Gray Owl, the Boreal Owl, the Snowy Owl, and the Barred Owl. Our first day here has been spectacular. Not only have we seen lots of birds I’ve not seen before, we found two of the four kinds of owls we’re seeking. We were not close enough to the Snowy Owl to photograph it although I couldn’t resist grabbing an iPhone shot of the snowy field in which is perched. The Barred Owl was a special treat see, very cooperative, and very close. The barred pattern of its feathers perfectly matches the pattern of the aspen bark on the tree in which it sits.