Grand Teton Adventure Part 4

Don’t look for parts 1-3, they’ll be coming later. We had a terrific workshop even with the closure right in the middle of it and I will share more about it later. For now I’m pretty excited to tell you of one of our adventures.

Kathy and I hung around the park a few extra days after the workshop looking for opportunities outside the park boundary as the park was closed. We heard about an owl hunting along Spring Gulch Road and decided to see if it was still around. It was a Great Gray Owl! And we were excited! We had photographed one inside the park a few days earlier and were disappointed we might not get a second chance with the parks closed.

I photographed it for most of the day as it hunted the grasses near an old ranch. Most of the time it flew from fence post to fence post, stopping long enough to listen for rodents scurrying in the grasses. Every once in a while the owl would dive toward a noise it heard, sometimes it would come right back up to a post and other times it would take a few minutes as it fed on it’s catch. After a full day and over 600 images I still didn’t have what I wanted.

 

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Flying fence post to fence post.

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Diving for a meal.

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Posing on another post.

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Close to what I’m after but not quite.

The next morning I went back for another attempt. I arrived before dawn, the light was just getting to where I could photograph. After finding the owl, we watched as it hunted for breakfast far off in the field, it finally came closer. I hung around the fence hoping he would fly toward me. He did! Only one fence post away.

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Here it is coming up from a meal and landing on the fence post right in front of me.
Notice the leaf caught in the talon.

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I shot this at 70mm just one fence post away.
He had the opportunity to land anywhere and he choose to land right next to me!
I decided to give him some space and moved back slowly.

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Finally, closer still…and then…

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This is the one I was after!
Here’s looking at you.

 

17 Comments

  1. Sue FrazeeSue Frazee10-13-2013

    Love it!!!!!!!!!!!! Have you checked out Friends of Redding Eagles on FB. You’ll enjoy!

  2. Al KrauseAl Krause10-13-2013

    Good pictures, Jim. Will share some of mine when you set up the blog for our group. We had a great time and made the most of the park closing, I think.

  3. David RamirezDavid Ramirez10-13-2013

    Nice pics Jim, glad you hung in there and got the one you were after.

    We hung out for a few hours but the owl didn’t come that close.

    David

    • DeloresDelores04-25-2017

      The pusahcres I make are entirely based on these articles.

  4. Jim StamatesJim Stamates10-13-2013

    Thanks friends, I enjoyed our time and we were fortunate to do well with the closure. Keep in the rhythm.

  5. Holly FischerHolly Fischer10-13-2013

    Wow wow wow! Your patience was handsomely rewarded! What a special shot Jim!

  6. Connie KinkleConnie Kinkle10-13-2013

    What a GREAT few days you had! How exciting!!! the pictures are great, All of them, But you are right!
    The last one, what was it? Here’s looking at you” is just that! what a great shot and picture! I’ll bet you were
    flying as high as the owl!!!! THAT IS A GRAT PICTURE! A time not soon forgotten!
    Connie Kinkle

  7. Ben GundyBen Gundy10-13-2013

    Great capture Jim and patience does pay off.

    • Susan ManleySusan Manley10-14-2013

      Super shot! How great it is that you found the GGO. You must be very proud of capturing it in such a great position — flying toward you. Wow!

  8. Kenneth E MaharKenneth E Mahar10-13-2013

    Awesome Jim
    Doesn’t get any better than that.

    Ken

  9. Don MercerDon Mercer10-14-2013

    A fantastic image as a reward for your patience and time well spent!

  10. Jane KrauseJane Krause10-14-2013

    Jim, We were so excited about that owl as well and photographed him for 3 days!
    Great shot!! He was sleeping part of the time I was waiting for him to fly. A very special encounter! Jane

  11. NannetteNannette10-14-2013

    Wow! Gorgeous image.

  12. SteveSteve10-21-2013

    This is one in my List of Prey Bird sots I want as well…. Congrates this is a great shot!!

    • Jim StamatesJim Stamates10-21-2013

      Thanks Steve, great place to find them. We had a great time back at the Tetons.

      And thanks to everyone else the has commented. I appreciate the feedback.

  13. sue waterssue waters10-21-2013

    Happy you and Cathy had a great time, love these awesome pictures, love Owls and this one is beautiful, loved the last one most all and your comment”here’s looking at you”from my favorite movie Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart♥here’s looking at you kid 🙂

  14. Greg nelsonGreg nelson11-02-2013

    Hi Jim & Kathy Just saw your. Owl shots. Awesome .I want Togo next year.in Maui now, will keep in touch when I get back. Greg

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