Nikon D750, Sigma 150-600mm / f5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens, @ 600 mm, 1/125 s, f/6.3, ISO 800, photo is cropped,  ------------   

It was about time for me to get back into the Green Island Wetlands this evening. Beside the “regulars”, like Canada Geese, Bald Eagles, American White Pelicans, Sandhill Cranes (10), Mallards, lots of Red-winged Blackbirds, and the Northern Harrier, I watched the first pair of Wood Ducks this year. I also met my photography friend Kevin, who is the one who convinced me to join the Dubuque Camera Club last fall, and we shared our recent observations, discussed locations, and of course photography. As the sun went down and we said good bye, Kevin discovered this owl sitting in the top of a tree at the edge of the wetland area. First I thought it was a Barred Owl. We have them around our house and can hear their distinctive calls every night really close, but since they are mostly active at night we hardly see them and so I’m not so familiar how they look in detail. A closer look into the books at home revealed that this is a Short-eared Owl. The yellow eyes and the black triangle around each eye made that clear. Barred Owls have dark eyes and a different plumage.

This is a first sighting for me and even if the photo is cropped and a little noisy I’m very happy. I rather crop the image and keep a safe distance to an owl instead of moving in and become a threat. The safety and comfort for the bird come always first.