Feb 252013
 


Great horned owl and owlets

I just finished my 2013 Southwest Florida birding and photography trip. February is nesting and mating season so the birds are active and decked out in breeding plumage making for great photo ops. Some chicks, such as great blue herons and anhingas, have already hatched. It’s a great time of year.

I’vebeen shooting in Florida each February for six years now. What better place to escape cold and snow than sunny Florida? Unfortunately, the “sunny” partdidn’tpan out this year. I arrived Tuesday afternoon and by Wednesday morning a slow moving front brought fog, clouds, and lots of rain. But even a rainy day in Florida is a good day. Although each morning began with heavy clouds and some rain, by sunset each day the clouds broke long enough to get a few good shots.

This year’s shoot included first-time visits to well known hot spots Venice Rookery, Celery Fields, Viera Wetlands, as well as a return visit to Fort DeSoto Park and two scheduled mangrove rookery shoots off the coast of Sarasota. I say “scheduled” as the first one was cut short after only one hour because of heavy fog and the second one never even left the dock due to heavy clouds and an ominous forecast.

But as I said, even a bad day in Florida is a good day. And once again I proved the harder you work, the luckier you get. Internet research, tips from locals, and hours in crazy Florida traffic paid off with a few keepers; not as many as in recent years but enough to call the trip a success.

If you follow my Facebook Fan Page you may have already seen what I believe to the best shot of the trip; a momma great horned owl and two owlets nestled in the crook of a tree about 25 feet above the ground and within 50 yards of the Gulf of Mexico. I spent several hours watching two nondescript mounds of fuzz hoping for momma owl to return to the nest for feeding time. Finally around 4:00 PM she showed up and the fuzzy mounds instantly became two very animated owlets. I was surprised mommadidn’tstay in the nest but for a few minutes and then flew to an adjacent tree from where she began to call to whom I presume was papa owl about 100 yards away. I did not come to Florida expecting owls so this was a special treat; not only to witness such beautiful and interesting creatures in the wild, but also to be able to bring home a portrait of mom and the kids was very exciting.

Here are a few other favorites from my Southwest Florida birding photography trip (click thumbnail for largerview):

Florida Birds 2013

Meta DataAperture F 4Camera Canon EOS 7DDate/Time February 12, 2013 4:51 pmCopyright Copyright 2013 Frank Comisar Scenic ApertureFocal length 600 mmISO 200Shutter speed 1/1250 secFlash Not firedImage Width 1298Image Height 866 EXIF DataAperture F 4Date/Time February 12, 2013 4:51 pmFocal length 600 mmISO 200Shutter speed 1/1250 secFlash Not firedCamera Canon EOS 7DMake CanonOrientation 1 IPTC DataDate Created 20130212Time Created 165152+0000Author Frank ComisarCopyright Copyright 2013 Frank Comisar Scenic Aperture XMP DataAuthor Frank Comisar

Meta DataAperture F 16Camera Canon EOS 7DDate/Time February 12, 2013 5:57 pmCopyright Copyright 2013 Frank Comisar Scenic ApertureFocal length 600 mmISO 400Shutter speed 1/8000 secFlash Not firedImage Width 1037Image Height 1555 EXIF DataAperture F 16Date/Time February 12, 2013 5:57 pmFocal length 600 mmISO 400Shutter speed 1/8000 secFlash Not firedCamera Canon EOS 7DMake CanonOrientation 1 IPTC DataDate Created 20130212Time Created 175746+0000Author Frank ComisarCopyright Copyright 2013 Frank Comisar Scenic Aperture XMP DataAuthor Frank Comisar

Meta DataAperture F 5.6Camera Canon EOS 7DDate/Time February 13, 2013 8:07 amCopyright Copyright 2013 Frank Comisar Scenic ApertureFocal length 400 mmISO 800Shutter speed 1/320 secFlash Not firedImage Width 1080Image Height 720 EXIF DataAperture F 5.6Date/Time February 13, 2013 8:07 amFocal length 400 mmISO 800Shutter speed 1/320 secFlash Not firedCamera Canon EOS 7DMake CanonOrientation 1 IPTC DataDate Created 20130213Time Created 080705+0000Author Frank ComisarCopyright Copyright 2013 Frank Comisar Scenic Aperture XMP DataAuthor Frank Comisar

Meta DataAperture F 5.6Camera Canon EOS 7DDate/Time February 13, 2013 2:08 pmCopyright Copyright 2013 Frank Comisar Scenic ApertureFocal length 400 mmISO 400Shutter speed 1/2500 secFlash Not firedImage Width 1080Image Height 720 EXIF DataAperture F 5.6Date/Time February 13, 2013 2:08 pmFocal length 400 mmISO 400Shutter speed 1/2500 secFlash Not firedCamera Canon EOS 7DMake CanonOrientation 1 IPTC DataDate Created 20130213Time Created 140835+0000Author Frank ComisarCopyright Copyright 2013 Frank Comisar Scenic Aperture XMP DataAuthor Frank Comisar

Meta DataAperture F 7.1Camera Canon EOS 7DDate/Time February 13, 2013 5:23 pmCopyright Copyright 2013 Frank Comisar Scenic ApertureFocal length 600 mmISO 400Shutter speed 1/250 secFlash FiredImage Width 1080Image Height 1080 EXIF DataAperture F 7.1Date/Time February 13, 2013 5:23 pmFocal length 600 mmISO 400Shutter speed 1/250 secFlash FiredCamera Canon EOS 7DMake CanonOrientation 1 IPTC DataDate Created 20130213Time Created 172348+0000Author Frank ComisarCopyright Copyright 2013 Frank Comisar Scenic Aperture XMP DataAuthor Frank Comisar

Meta DataAperture F 5Camera Canon EOS 7DDate/Time February 15, 2013 9:10 amCopyright Copyright 2013 Frank Comisar Scenic ApertureFocal length 600 mmISO 400Shutter speed 1/400 secFlash Not firedImage Width 1292Image Height 861 EXIF DataAperture F 5Date/Time February 15, 2013 9:10 amFocal length 600 mmISO 400Shutter speed 1/400 secFlash Not firedCamera Canon EOS 7DMake CanonOrientation 1 IPTC DataDate Created 20130215Time Created 091039+0000Author Frank ComisarCopyright Copyright 2013 Frank Comisar Scenic Aperture XMP DataAuthor Frank Comisar

Meta DataAperture F 7.1Camera Canon EOS 7DDate/Time February 15, 2013 9:34 amCopyright Copyright 2013 Frank Comisar Scenic ApertureFocal length 600 mmISO 400Shutter speed 1/2500 secFlash Not firedImage Width 720Image Height 1080 EXIF DataAperture F 7.1Date/Time February 15, 2013 9:34 amFocal length 600 mmISO 400Shutter speed 1/2500 secFlash Not firedCamera Canon EOS 7DMake CanonOrientation 1 IPTC DataDate Created 20130215Time Created 093459+0000Author Frank ComisarCopyright Copyright 2013 Frank Comisar Scenic Aperture XMP DataAuthor Frank Comisar

Meta DataAperture F 4Camera Canon EOS 7DDate/Time February 15, 2013 10:30 amCopyright Copyright 2013 Frank Comisar Scenic ApertureFocal length 600 mmISO 400Shutter speed 1/1250 secFlash Not firedImage Width 1555Image Height 1037 EXIF DataAperture F 4Date/Time February 15, 2013 10:30 amFocal length 600 mmISO 400Shutter speed 1/1250 secFlash Not firedCamera Canon EOS 7DMake CanonOrientation 1 IPTC DataDate Created 20130215Time Created 103027+0000Author Frank ComisarCopyright Copyright 2013 Frank Comisar Scenic Aperture XMP DataAuthor Frank Comisar

The post Southwest Florida Birding Hot Spots appeared first on Scenic Aperture.

Frank Comisar

Frank Comisar

Frank Comisar is a nature photographer who loves to help others make beautiful photographs. His photography interests are varied and range from landscapes to wildlife. He shoots landscapes, wildlife, and nature for the purpose of capturing a moment in time that when revisited, portrays the natural beauty of the places visited and the creatures that live there. His goal is to not merely provide a visual and technical documentation of the scene in front of the lens. Rather, it is to render the scene in an artistic and creative way that not only provides context to the image, but also captures the feeling and essence of the moment.

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Supertrooper

Frank, congratulations on your success in our recent “Best Photo of the Week” competition http://focusingonwildlife.com/news/best-photo-of-the-week-ended-09-mar-2013/

Frank Comisar

Thanks Susan. Yeah, the mamma owl probably can’t wait for the kids to start sleeping “all day” – get it? I remember how my wife and I were so happy when our kids finally began to sleep all night.

Susan Lee

All the pictures are terrific, but I especially "dig" the mother owl snoozing with still-awake chicks…sure have been there! One time when I dozed off my baby daughter woke me with a cold-smeary bananna she was rubbing on my arm! 🙂

Frank Comisar

Thanks Susan. Yeah, the mamma owl probably can't wait for the kids to start sleeping "all day" – get it? I remember how my wife and I were so happy when our kids finally began to sleep all night.

Gaea Guides

Such incredible pictures. Thanks for letting me see them.

Gaea Guides

Such incredible pictures. Thanks for letting me see them.

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