American Art Glass Showroom

Today I made my first really substantial sale of a nature/wildlife print.  It was a bald eagle photograph.  I’ve had nature/wildlife prints in a couple of retail locations for some time, and today, at the American Art Glass Showroom in Naperville, IL, I sold the image below for $200.  My largest single sale to date!  The print was a 20×30 print, double matted and nicely framed in a simple oak frame at 24×36.  Special thanks to the American Art Glass Showroom for their efforts in making this sale happen.  To see more of Night Owl Photography’s work, visit them at 605 E. Odgen Avenue #2, Naperville, IL  60563




Great Horned Owl Baby Age Progression

I visited the great horned owl nest again on Wednesday of this week, to discover the baby out of the nest, and up high in the tree.  It’s feathers had started to turn from the grey we’ve seen in the past, to the rich brown of a mature bird.  I’m not sure if the little guy flew up where he was perched, or if he walked up the branches.  My guess is that he flew the short distance to practice his flying for the first time.  The locals all said that it was the first time they had seen him leave the nest.  It was a beautiful day, with a blue sky, although it was quite windy.  It made for great pictures though.  The only drawback is that the sun was quite harsh for lighting.  I arrived late in the day around 4PM thinking it wouldn’t be so harsh, but I was wrong.  Oh well?!  🙂 

A security guard stopped to check out the owl when he noticed he wasn’t in the nest.  He told me a story about seeing one evening, a coyote scratching at the base of the tree with the nest, and the mother swooping in to attack the coyote.  The coyote ran off yelping as the owl made all kinds of “god awful” sounds in her attack.  Man, I wish I could have camped out there overnight just once to see the mother or father.  I never did get to see them. 

Today I received word that Bubo has left the nest and the nesting tree, and that no one could find him in nearby trees or perched anywhere else.  Could he have fledged the nest so early?  So early after branching for the first time?  The parent owls usually keep caring the the fledglings for up to 10 weeks.  I hope Bubo does well!  It’s likely that Bubo will not return next year, although his parents might.  So enjoy the video and the photographs.












And now I’d like to take a moment to thank both Sue and Tsumi. Tsumi for being the liaison between his roommate Sue and I, and Sue for arranging security access to the nesting site for me so that I could photograph Bubo. Thanks to both of you!






Great Horned Owl’s Nest

A few days ago, a friend called me to tell me he knew where there was a Great Horned Owl nest with babies. I was T-H-R-I-L-L-E-D! Like many people, the Great Horned Owl is my favorite raptor. (Yes, I know you all thought it was the American Bald Eagle, but it’s actually the Great Horned Owl. Eagles are just easier to find!) So much so, that my logo prominently displays one. Yet, I’ve never seen a Great Horned Owl in the wild, . . . until today!

Today the mother owl wasn’t in sight, but you could hear her hooting nearby. We watched and watched for her, but she never appeared in the nest. The baby was quite active though. It appears there’s only one fledgling in the clutch. So I got some cute photos of the baby for today.

Here’s something my rennie friends might find interesting. While researching the scientific name for the Great Horned Owl, which happpens to be Bubo Virginianus, I learned that the latter part of the name is named after the Virgin Queen, her majesty Queen Elizabeth I.

A special thanks goes out to that friend who called me to let me know about this photo opportunity. Thanks dude!

Coopers Hawk Mating Pair

Coopers Hawk

Coopers Hawk

Knowing that I’m a bird photographer, and how much I love to photograph birds of prey, a friend called me recently to tell me a story of a close encounter with a hawk of some kind in her front yard.  She said this hawk swooped down to ground level, flew right at her, and then swooped away just before reaching her.  She sent me a photograph of said hawk via email that she took with her point and shoot camera, and it appeared to be a Coopers Hawk.  In the video below, I misidentified these birds as Sharp Shinned Hawks (Sharpies).  Thanks to Berni and Vicky for helping me to properly identify them. 

The next day I went to my friends house to photograph this hawk.  When I arrived, I learned that there are actually 2 hawks, and that they are occupying a nest in the tree across the street.  I spent about an hour photographing these hawks that are sometimes known as Coops.  Neighbors came out to talk to me when they saw my big fancy camera, and I learned that these Coops stole the nest they occupy from a couple of squirrels.  Those squirrels met an untimely end thanks to these Coops according to 2 of the neighbors.  I also photographed them the next day before work in the early morning sun (the golden hours).  I have lots of images that I hope you’ll enjoy. 

Coopers Hawk

Coopers Hawk

These birds are incredibly comfortable around people.  I’ve seen them swoop between children playing on the sidewalk, they swooped near my friend in front of her house, and they’ve flown around me as I try to track them through my viewfinder.  I’ve photographed them from as near as 8 feet above me in a tree. 

I’ve watched them eat their prey from a tree branch, gather nest material, posture themselves as a mating couple would, and call to each other with their sharp squeek of a call.  The most amazing thing I saw was when I was taking video of one of them with my own point and shoot, and the second Coop suddenly appeared in the frame, and proceeded to mate with the first Coop! 

Did you know that when a Coopers Hawk takes off to fly, it doesn’t open it’s wings?  It closes it’s wings, and dives towards the ground like a bomb, then opens it’s wings just before it reaches the ground and soars away.  That’s not something you learn in a book, and it’s been amazing to watch these birds long enough to learn that.   

Here is that video I mentioned, and the link to my gallery of images: