Eastern Screech Owls, 4 in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on December 17-18, 2018

While out birding the last couple of days I have come across 4 Eastern Screech Owls. These beautiful owls were all found in deciduous trees with the natural cavities facing to the south or southwest. It appeared they were all out in the cavity opening soaking up the warm sun with the nice warm December weather we are having. The 1st image is the Eastern Screech Owl, grey morph that has been seen almost regularly,  but not always at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee. The other 3 were also taken in Milwaukee County.

Eastern Screech Owl, grey morph #1 with blood on the bill from a recent meal at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

Eastern Screech Owl, red morph #2

Eastern Screech Owl, red morph #3

Eastern Screech Owl, red morph #4

Eastern Screech Owl, red morph #4

Eastern Screech Owl “Hat Trick” in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on December 17, 2018

Birding Milwaukee County today I found 3 Eastern Screech Owls, a “Hat Trick”. They were all napping as it looked in the warm sun. One was at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, the other two were in Milwaukee County too. It was a gorgeous day with full sun, low winds, just felt like spring. Images were taken on December 17, 2018.

The three, Grey morph, Red morph, Red morph

Eastern Screech Owl, Grey Morph at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center  — with blood on the bill tip! Must have just had a fresh kill…

Eastern Screech Owl, Red Morph

Eastern Screech Owl in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on December 10, 2018

Nice to see this Eastern Screech Owl in Milwaukee County while out birding. The owl gave nice views but never opened its eyes while I was there. Just looking cozy up in a natural cavity. It was a beautiful morning out with plenty of sunshine and mild temps. Images were taken on December 10, 2018.

Eastern Screech Owl, red morph

Eastern Screech Owl at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center on November 14, 2018

I decided to make a run up to the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center this morning in search for any owl species. Walking a trail there I spotted this beautiful gray morph sound a sleep. It was a chilly 12 degrees when I left for birding but with full sun and no wind, it was a very pleasant day to be out. First owl of the season for me, it was nice to see one again. Images were taken on November 14, 2018.

A sleeping Eastern Screech Owl, gray morph…

At a distance…

Eastern Screech-Owl in Southeastern Wisconsin on April 29, 2018

While out birding I came across a Eastern Screech-Owl sitting in a natural cavity. The owl sat there not doing much but was keeping track of a couple of Grey Squirrels that caught its attention. I will say it is the year of the Eastern Screech-Owl, this is the 5th different one I have seen. It was another cool day with temps in the upper 50’s midday, with plenty of sun but with an east wind made for a chilly day for this time of year. Images were taken on April 29, 2018.

Eastern Screech-Owl resting peacefully in a natural cavity…

Eyes on a Grey Squirrel a tree away…

Looking out yonder…

Looking below at another Grey Squirrel…

Great Horned Owl with Owlets in Southeastern Wisconsin on April 27, 2018

While out birding this morning along the lakefront in Milwaukee I received a tip of Great Horned Owl with 3 owlets. Birding was a little slow along the lakefront where I was with nothing really going on so I made the drive to check these cuties out. When I arrived there were 3 owlets in a row on one limb. The adult female stopped in a couple times to check on the little ones but did not hang around. I’m not sure how old these owlets are but I’m sure they will be flying some soon and spreading out in the tree some too. It was a nice opportunity to see the first owlets of the spring. It was a bright sunny day with little wind but chilly at first. Images were taken on April 27, 2018.

The 3 Great Horned Owl owlets…

The one on the right is looking at the adult female off in a tree…

Great Horned Owl, adult female off a ways in a tree…

Great Horned Owl, adult female…

Just a pair cuddled up…

Eastern Screech Owl in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on March 10, 2018

Nice to see this Eastern Screech Owl in Milwaukee County. The owl came up from in the hole and gave nice views but never opened its eyes while I was there. Just looking cozy up in a natural cavity. It was a beautiful morning out with plenty of sunshine and mild temps. Images were taken on March 10, 2018.

Barred Owl in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on February 18, 2018

While birding today in Milwaukee County I discovered a Barred Owl resting on a limb. Nice to see them just relaxing in their space and blending in with the surroundings. I took a few shots and left the area. A beautiful February day with full sun and mild temps in the 30’s with low winds. Images were taken on February 18, 2018.

Eastern Screech Owl in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on February 14, 2018

Doing some birding today in Milwaukee County I came across a Eastern Screech Owl, gray phase. It was resting in a natural captivity. After a couple minutes I looked again, and it was gone, probably went back in the hole. Almost felt like spring with plenty of sunshine and the warm temps around 40, next to no wind, very pleasant. Images were taken on February 14, 2018.

Northern Saw-whet Owl in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on January 19, 2018

The last few weeks I looked extensively for the elusive Northern Saw-whet Owl. Recently while out birding, I was checking out some more trees. I was excited to find a fresh pellet on the ground, then a short distance away, a cute Northern Saw-whet Owl was staring at me. I have never seen a Northern Saw-whet Owl before, captive or wild so this was a real treat and a life bird too. Not moving much, I put my camera up, took a few shots of this beautiful owl. I would tell anyone who asks, how do you find a Northern Saw-whet Owl? Look in the pine trees around you. You just might be surprised to find one like I was and be rewarded too with a photo. A mostly cloudy day, temps in the mid 40’s, with steady winds.

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Binomial name: Aegolius acadicus

Category: Typical Owls

Size: 8” long, 17” wing span

Weight: 2.8 oz

Cool facts: Smallest owl in North America with a cat like face that is highly nocturnal and seldom seen.

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl

The found pellet…

Long-eared Owls in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on January 8, 2018

I came upon some Long-eared Owls today while birding in Milwaukee County. They gave nice views from a distance. It was an extremely cold day with temps in the lower teens for highs, some good winds, made it feel like arctic circle. Images were taken on January 8, 2018.

Long-eared Owl

Binomial name: Asio otus

Category: Typical Owls

Size: 15” long, 36” wing span

Weight: 9 oz

Snowy Owl going for it’s Prey on the Milwaukee Lakefront on December 26, 2017

I watched this perched Snowy Owl for a couple of short minutes this morning on the Milwaukee lakefront. Then it’s head went up and looked to the north as if it had heard something. A moment later it took to the air and headed north out of sight. It was a cold morning with temps around -5 F and very little wind, the sun made it feel not too bad. Here are a couple flight shots as it left the area. Images were taken on December 26, 2017.

The Snowy Owl just after lift off…

Just smooth sailing for this Snowy Owl…

On its way to its prey…

Snowy Owl at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on December 15, 2017

A nice surprise! As I sat in my car looking for any sign of a gull at Bradford Beach this morning off in a distance I spotted this big white bird flying to the south. It was over the water and then heading right towards me. Still off in a distance, I thought, gezz, this gull, looks almost like a Snowy Owl. As I watched, it landed on the beach, to my surprise, it was a Snowy Owl. As I was getting out of my car, I was not surprised to see a dog walker with their dog walking towards me. I quickly got a few images as I knew time time was running out with this dog coming. I watched the owl look to the road, then back towards the dog, that was it, the owl headed out over the water. I never saw a Snowy Owl on a beach before, not that I could remember. It was a dull morning with cloudy skies, temps around 16, and a good wind out of the west. Images were taken on December 15, 2017.

Snowy Owl right after landing…

The head pops up…

The Snowy Owl looks to the road…

The Snowy Owl looks to the dog getting closer…

And off it goes out over the water…

Snowy Owl in the snow at the Lake Express in Milwaukee Wisconsin on December 9, 2017

With the first snow fall of the season that I was present in Milwaukee, I checked the Lake Express for a Snowy Owl. A Snowy Owl was present just enjoying the falling snow. It looked right at home in this surrounding. It was very cold, with temps in the high teens, and a stiff wind out of the north with cloudy skies, it felt like below zero. Images were taken on December 9, 2017.

Snowy Owl Snoozing with the Moon in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on December 8, 2017

While doing some birding in Milwaukee County this morning I came across a Snowy Owl. It was perched on top of a large dirt pile. For the most part the Snowy Owl was resting and left undisturbed, a couple of times the eyes almost opened.  The moon made a nice back drop for the Snowy Owl image. I took a couple of images and left the area. It was a very cold morning, full sun with temps in the teens, stiff winds made it bitter cold out there. Images were taken on December 8, 2017.

Snowy Owl snoozing with the moon…