Kip’s Comments 2-14-18

Rooster Ring-necked Pheasant Hiding in Corn Stubble - Image 486265 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Yesterday (Part 2) and Today

In yesterday’s post I explained how I went searching for a saw-whet owl and found one.

I’d like to explain in further detail saw-whet owls.Saw-whet owls are found only in portions of Iowa during the winter months – from about November through March. Soon any saw-whets that are here will move north again. They appear almost docile, but are great mouse hunters at night.

Each year I look for a saw-whet owl or two. The small owls are fun birds to find since they roost in timber. Their preferred habitat is cedar trees and the owls blend well with their surroundings. What makes the saw-whet owl unique is they generally do not fly during the day. If you find one, chances are it will remain on perch until nightfall. That can make photographing them easy, assuming they are perched in a good spot. Or, sometimes a person has to come back on another day if the bird is spending the daylight hours in a tough spot for owl photography.

One other thing about the little owls is that they don’t have their eyes wide open very much during the day. Usually, when you first walk up to one, it will have its eyes wide open. Otherwise, they look like sleepy little birds.

Following are few poses of the saw-whet owl I walked up on yesterday. This may have been my easiest saw-whet owl find to date!

Saw-whet Owl:

Saw-whet Owl in Cedar Tree - Image 485733 (© Kip Ladage)

Saw-whet Owl in Cedar Tree – Image 485733 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Saw-whet Owl in Cedar Tree - Image 485762 (© Kip Ladage)

Saw-whet Owl in Cedar Tree – Image 485762 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Saw-whet Owl in Cedar Tree - Image 485772 (© Kip Ladage)

Saw-whet Owl in Cedar Tree – Image 485772 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Saw-whet Owl in Cedar Tree - Image 485797 (© Kip Ladage)

Saw-whet Owl in Cedar Tree – Image 485797 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Saw-whet Owl in Cedar Tree - Image 485856 (© Kip Ladage)

Saw-whet Owl in Cedar Tree – Image 485856 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Saw-whet Owl in Cedar Tree - Image 485875 (© Kip Ladage)

Saw-whet Owl in Cedar Tree – Image 485875 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Before I looked for the saw-whet owl I shot plenty of pictures of wild turkeys. They were in the area due to bird seed scattered on the ground. As you can tell, the turkeys allowed me to be very close.

Wild Turkeys:

Wild Turkey in Snow - Image 485538 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Turkey in Snow – Image 485538 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Turkey in Snow - Image 485547 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Turkey in Snow – Image 485547 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Turkey in Snow - Image 485552 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Turkey in Snow – Image 485552 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Turkey in Snow - Image 485562 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Turkey in Snow – Image 485562 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Turkey in Snow - Image 485569 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Turkey in Snow – Image 485569 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Turkey in Snow - Image 485577 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Turkey in Snow – Image 485577 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Turkey in Snow - Image 485587 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Turkey in Snow – Image 485587 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Turkey in Snow - Image 485596 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Turkey in Snow – Image 485596 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Turkey in Snow - Image 485613 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Turkey in Snow – Image 485613 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Turkey in Snow - Image 485616 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Turkey in Snow – Image 485616 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Turkey in Snow - Image 485631 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Turkey in Snow – Image 485631 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Turkey in Snow - Image 485647 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Turkey in Snow – Image 485647 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Turkey in Snow - Image 4856547 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Turkey in Snow – Image 4856547 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Turkey in Snow - Image 485655 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Turkey in Snow – Image 485655 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Turkey in Snow - Image 485663 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Turkey in Snow – Image 485663 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Turkey in Snow - Image 485678 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Turkey in Snow – Image 485678 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Wild Turkey Blinking - Image 485664 (© Kip Ladage)

Wild Turkey Blinking – Image 485664 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Almost as exciting as finding the saw-whet owl was finding river otters again. Like the last time, two otters were working/fishing around a couple of holes in the ice.

I noticed something about how the otters eat fish. So far, the river otters I have watched have always devoured the fish from the tail end. I am guessing, but I wonder if that is to limit the fish’s movement as it is being eaten alive.

I must give the otters credit. So far all of the fish that I have watched them eat have been completely consumed. No waste was left for crows or bald eagles. I imagine if they caught a large carp the story may be different.

River Otter Eating Fish:

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice - Image 485925 (© Kip Ladage)

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice – Image 485925 (© Kip Ladage)

 

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice - Image 485956 (© Kip Ladage)

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice – Image 485956 (© Kip Ladage)

 

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice - Image 485959 (© Kip Ladage)

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice – Image 485959 (© Kip Ladage)

 

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice - Image 485966 (© Kip Ladage)

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice – Image 485966 (© Kip Ladage)

 

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice - Image 485968 (© Kip Ladage)

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice – Image 485968 (© Kip Ladage)

 

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice - Image 485999 (© Kip Ladage)

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice – Image 485999 (© Kip Ladage)

 

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice - Image 486062 (© Kip Ladage)

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice – Image 486062 (© Kip Ladage)

 

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice - Image 486080 (© Kip Ladage)

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice – Image 486080 (© Kip Ladage)

 

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice - Image 486111 (© Kip Ladage)

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice – Image 486111 (© Kip Ladage)

 

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice - Image 486127 (© Kip Ladage)

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice – Image 486127 (© Kip Ladage)

 

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice - Image 486145 (© Kip Ladage)

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice – Image 486145 (© Kip Ladage)

 

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice - Image 486150 (© Kip Ladage)

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice – Image 486150 (© Kip Ladage)

 

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice - Image 486161 (© Kip Ladage)

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice – Image 486161 (© Kip Ladage)

 

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice - Image 486167 (© Kip Ladage)

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice – Image 486167 (© Kip Ladage)

 

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice - Image 486184 (© Kip Ladage)

River Otter Eating Fish on Ice – Image 486184 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Today’s interesting wildlife observation was this rooster ring-necked pheasant. I spotted it feeding in a corn stubble field. When I stopped to shoot a few pictures, the pheasant dropped down to hide from me. If you look carefully, you will see that the longer I was with the bird, the lower its head was in the snow. Even though it dropped low, the bird was still watching me, probably ready to explode skyward if I approached.

Rooster Ring-necked Pheasant Hiding in Snow:

Rooster Ring-necked Pheasant Hiding in Corn Stubble - Image 486225 (© Kip Ladage)

Rooster Ring-necked Pheasant Hiding in Corn Stubble – Image 486225 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Rooster Ring-necked Pheasant Hiding in Corn Stubble - Image 486259 (© Kip Ladage)

Rooster Ring-necked Pheasant Hiding in Corn Stubble – Image 486259 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Rooster Ring-necked Pheasant Hiding in Corn Stubble - Image 486265 (© Kip Ladage)

Rooster Ring-necked Pheasant Hiding in Corn Stubble – Image 486265 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Not too far away I found several more roosters that fled when I slowed. There was no hiding in the snow for these boys. Each of them headed for the hills.

Rooster Ring-necked Pheasants in Snow:

Rooster Ring-necked Pheasant - Image 486276 (© Kip Ladage)

Rooster Ring-necked Pheasant – Image 486276 (© Kip Ladage)

 

Rooster Ring-necked Pheasant - Image 486272 (© Kip Ladage)

Rooster Ring-necked Pheasant – Image 486272 (© Kip Ladage)

 

The only other wildlife seen today was also hiding from me, but the sparkle in its eye gave it away. This cottontail held still and never did move. Sometimes they can’t sit still if I “out sit” them. This one had willpower.

Cottontail Rabbit Hiding in Brush:

Cottontail Rabbit Hiding in Brush - Image 486213 (© Kip Ladage)

Cottontail Rabbit Hiding in Brush – Image 486213 (© Kip Ladage)

 

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