I was looking through my library the other day and found some humorous photos. While out with a DVWildlife Boat Tour, we came upon some Barred Owls. First there was one, and then another flew up to it… and then the funny behavior began.
First, the owl on the left started making googly eyes at the one on the right. Then it started kissing its ear. Now, I realize that’s not what was really happening but it’s funnier to narrate this way 🤣
SIDE NOTE: Mated pairs of owls will often lean on each other, groom or preen each other and even engage in cheek rubbing. This is thought to be a mating ritual, as well as just general affection of mated pairs.
Get a Tree!!!
After that, the two started kissing each other. Right out in broad daylight with all of us watching!!! Below is the photo… but below that is an animated GIF (low quality) of me scrolling through the series/burst of photos I took of it.
It was at that moment that Dick (he runs the tours and drives the boat but also a great photographer) shouts out “Get a tree!!!!”. I immediately knew that would be the caption for the photo as soon as he said it 😉
After a minute or two of this gratuitous public display of affection, the owls must have realized we were watching and were a little embarrassed. I think I even saw one of them blush. At that point they just stared at us as if to say “Some privacy please!”.
Settings and Editing
The settings for all three photos were the same. Taken with the Sony Alpha 1, 200-600mm @ 390mm, f/8, 1/800, ISO 800.
All photos were edited quickly with Lightroom Classic and a quick run through Topaz DeNoise. These aren’t great photos and the lighting is pretty poor (the owls are in dar shadows with a bright sky behind them). So I won’t be winning any awards with these, but that’s not what wildlife photography is always about. Sometimes it’s just fun to watch the wildlife through a lens and a proximity that most people don’t ever get to experience.
As always my editing is covered in my Wildlife Editing Secrets Course. Also, you can find links to all of my gear, computers, hard drives, etc… over on the Gear page which can be clicked on in the top menu (or just click here). And it’s always appreciated if you use the links on that page (even if you’re not purchasing that specific item) when buying anything. It doesn’t cost you a penny and it’ll help me out a bit 🙂