January 1, 2014

Photo of the Week - Sleeping Eastern Screech-Owl



Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina

This little owl was an unexpected discovery during our Christmas jaunt. One of the shuttle bus drivers for Biltmore inn guests happened to mention that “Screech” had been spotted on Christmas day, after a long absence. She pointed out his tree perch to us as we drove past along one of the estate roads. Of course, we had to later retrieve my car from the parking lot and go back for a photo shoot later! We could only venture as close as 20-25 feet from the nesting tree because a large stream separated us. 

Owls hunt for food at night, so they catch their beauty sleep during the day. I noticed this little one changing its expression slightly now and then, but it never opened up its big yellow eyes. There are several different colors of the eastern screech-owl, and this one is regarded as a “red morph” variety. Screech-owls are small, and this one was about 8 inches tall.

HERE is a link if you want to learn more about these cute little owls.

And, I have an added treat for you today – a poorly shot video of Screech. I haven’t a clue how to execute a proper video with my new camera, and the autofocus function failed me miserably. The video is also sadly lacking action. But you get to hear me prattle on like an idiot in my (adopted) southern drawl. Before I started the video, I told Screech that I would feature him on my blog. That announcement didn’t elicit any kind of response. But, the little owl provided some eye flutters in the final seconds of the video after I sweetly asked it to say hello. How cute is that?


I will safely stick to doing simple photography and forget about any notions about learning videography, LOL.

19 comments:

  1. Awww...he's adorable! Bet the Biltmore would love a copy for their hotel lobby! I ALSO loved the video, your voice...!!!!!....and the picmonkey tutorial! Love that you shared!
    hughugs

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  2. That was fun! And I could watch this Vimeo video from my ipad...unheard of! He's a very cute little fellow and, as you say, wonderfully camouflaged.

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  3. That owl blends into the background so well I probably would have missed it. What a great shot and it's such a pretty bird

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  4. adorable little sweetie! and i like your 'adopted' accent. :)

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  5. I LOVE hearing your voice! That's awesome.
    Great photo too.
    Happy New Year!!
    xoxo

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  6. He's such a cute owl, Donna, and blends right in with the tree. I would certainly have missed this had I been there.

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  7. How cute is he? Love hearing your voice too!

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  8. Screech sure is interesting, so cute! I can't believe the quality of photo you got from such a long distance away, I could reach out and touch him. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Such a sweet little owl. The first thing I noticed when I played the Vimeo was your southern accent, something one doesn't think about when communicating by computer. LOL It was nice, however to put a voice to your photo.
    Hugs,
    Judith

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  10. What a little sweetie!! I have never seen a Screech Owl, I didn't realize they are so small. So wonderful that you spied him and got his portrait! I too enjoyed hearing your voice on the video. Thanks Donna.

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  11. Oh My Goodness… Something we have never seen… We'll have to look for that when we go again… He is adorable … And your video is FINE!!!!! Loved it.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  12. She is priceless! Love seeing this owl in it's elements. They tend to blend in. Thanks for sharing. Thanks so much for coming by. Happy New Year to you dear Donna. xo

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  13. Trying to catch up on blog reading after the flurry of holiday (and other) activities! I am delighted this morning to visit your little screech owl (and to hear your voice...how fun!). Indeed, I am sure that Screech goes unnoticed in his little nook. :)

    New Year blessings to you and Mr. Jim!

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  14. Donna, that is such an interesting view of an owl. I guess they get cold, too huh? Thank you for your warm wishes. May 2014 be awesome for YOU!!♥

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  15. Good to see your very clear video..you must have had a tripod!
    And I didn't really think you had much of a southern accent, but then I am not an expert on American accents..but it was nice to hear your voice.

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  16. Oh he looks so cute and snug all up in his tree. Great picture!

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  17. He's so beautiful and you got such a fabulous shot - video was different with no movement, he was very sleepy/lazy I think, but I did hear ya'll really well, hm, hm!!!!!!!!

    Love ya, Mary

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  18. Happy 2014!! I love the owl pic. He's a handsome fella.

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  19. My goodness he blends in so well with the background I think I would have had a hard time spotting him! Beautiful!

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Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!