Avatar Owl

May 27, 2005
Weaverville, California
OK, right up front I’ll fess up that this shot was not taken with my new D2X (only in my dreams) or my current D70. I took this a couple of years ago with my very first digital camera; a humble CP5700. I had recently reloaded this image onto my hard drive off of CD to use for my avatar on this forum (severely cropped as you can see) and I thought you might enjoy seeing it. That is a male Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina). I had just feed him a couple of mice to determine if the pair was nesting. The female had just flown away disinterested in a “free meal”. If the pair were nesting they would be VERY interested in “free” food to take to the ever-hungry kids. Anyway, the male ate two mice and flew to this roost site and went to sleep (they will perk up for free food but they are noctural after all). All signs pointed to no nesting attempt by this pair that year. I set up my tripod, prepared the camera (remember the joys of “user sets”?) and made a squeaking noise so he would open his eyes for the exposure. I particularly liked the strong backlighting (especially at the tail) even though it meant some unavoidable blown highlights in the hanging moss with the exposure required to capture the owl. To be honest, my naked eye revealed more "blown highlights" than the camera ultimately captured.

tripod-mounted CP5700; 71mm, 1/20 sec at f4.2; iso 100; RAW
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Mar 31, 2005
Toronto Canada
Nice capture for a 5700, Thomas, I used to own one and know it's limitations and frustrations. That camera drove me to DSLR! LOL Great shot, esp the backlighting around the tail feathers. Bummer bout the moss, but I'm sure you could clone it out for a printable version.

So you've taken to keeping the rodent population down and the avian community fed! Good work LOL

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