Owls in Minnesota

December 9 - 12, 2004

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Last modified: January 16, 2005

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One day my co-worker Ken asked me if I wanted to come along with him to Duluth, MN to shoot some owls. Ken is an old birder, and as such pretty much crazy about anything with wings and feathers. Since Hawk Owls and Great Grey Owls were supposedly invading into northern Minnesota from Canada, one could see them pretty easily without going to metric lands.

Why not, I thought, a good chance to try out my new camera and a good real world test for my 400 DO lens. Plus, I have saved way too many vacation hours already, so let's kill two days. So we flew to Minneapolis and drove a fat ass SUV to Duluth, loaded with two 600mm lenses (both Ken's), my 400, and various cameras and smaller lenses. Equipped with Ken's knowledge and research of the area, we went hunting for owls.

For four days we were looking for owls, more or less successfully. The first day we found some, and the next two days we successfully refined our hunting tactics. The last day the weather caught up with us, and the owls: it was so windy (and cold) that it was snowing horizontally, very much to the distress of the owls, who apparently can't fly in high winds. So we captured only a few Hawk Owls, holding on for their dear life to their perch on our last day. In a way that was fun, too =)

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