Working the Night Shift


This week’s photo, taken January 24, 2013 in Discovery Park in Seattle, WA, features a GREAT HORNED OWL, lounging on a limb after working the night shift.

Today, Thursday, I spend a few hours in Discovery Park, Seattle’s largest park. During my outing, bird activity is rather quiet, overall, but a few special sightings make up for the low numbers. At the pond, a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK perches and preens for several minutes. The hawk’s presence probably is the reason no other birds are visible in the immediate area. Meanwhile, in an evergreen tree deep in the forest, yet not far from the pond, a large owl sits close to the tree’s trunk. It has its back to me, but because of its massive size and prominent ear-tufts, it must be a GREAT HORNED OWL. When it eventually turns and looks at me, there is no longer any doubt.

At the north bluff, I’m about to descend the steep trail to the beach, but I first notice 3 finch-like birds high in the tree tops beyond a viewing platform, so I decide to investigate. The lighting is poor, so it’s difficult to see a lot of detail in the birds, but I take several photos, and when I study my images a few hours later on my computer, I realize they are PINE GROSBEAKS, a life bird for me and a rare species for Discovery Park.


About Joe Sweeney

I photograph birds to share the beauty and wonder I find in nature.
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