Just right outside our office a couple of long-eared owls was breading. I saw them first a couple of weeks ago but due to the whole pandemic thing we didn’t have our usual office day once a week. As things slowly start to get normal again (at least here in Austria) I finally grabbed my camera when driving to work yesterday to see if I could get some decent shots of the couple and the chicks.

Well, those little feathery cuties grow big so fast. After a swift search of the surrounding area I found them. In total I counted three branchlings sitting on – you might have guessed it – branches on a tree nearby our office. I grabbed my Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens with a 2x tele-converter and zoomed in all the way to get the shots and stay at a safe distance to not distract the birds too much. Nonetheless they seemed quite interested in the shutter sound of my camera and were aware of my presence. Only the smallest one didn’t give a damn about me. The others were observing me with quite the suspicious look on their faces. At least they looked at me and I could get some really nice close-up shots.

Just a couple of things to consider when shooting birds, especially young chicks:

  • Stay in a safe distance! Their parents might not fly to the nest out of fear when you are too close.
  • Use a long lens to compress the background and keep the distance.
  • Never touch chicks! (This goes for all young animals…) – If you want to help call an animal rescue hotline.

Enough said. Picture time.