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Burrowing Owl with Jerusalem Cricket


Posted by David Salem on Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:41 pm

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I had 5 great years shooting a group of Burrowing owls just down the street from my house. Every year the babies would emerge from their burrows to find me sitting in my truck patiently waiting their arrival. They quickly had no fear of me as their parents had seen me for years so they didn't instill the fear of me into their babies. 
It was a photographers dream come true, going 2 minutes from my house to shoot these guys anytime. Then man kind came stomping thru the field with motorcycles, quads and dune buggies and ruined their tranquil and safe habitat. 
This is one of the last photos of the last adult male.
By the last spring he didn't even have a mate left in the field and after watching him cooing an hooting evening after evening trying to attract a mate, he soon left the field for good. 
Definitely a sad day for me and a few buddies. 
Fortunately I have literally thousands of nice shots of these guys and as is true in wildlife photography, the situation will eventually change or go away.
Here he is just about to touch down after he had taken off and came back with this big bug. We used to call them Potato bugs when I was a kid but I think Jerusalem cricket is the proper name. 
Hope you like him.

1DX---840mm---f6.3---ss1/3200th---ISO640---Handheld@8:15am

Thanks as always for looking and for your input.  I appreciate it.

Please click on the image to view the larger more detailed file

David   
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David Salem
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by Mako_Elite on Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:52 pm
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Super shot David! I love the pose with the cricket. Thanks for the story that goes with the picture. I feel you pain. We lost here superb Short-eared owl and other birds habitat. Vegetation stripped down to soil,,,almost all of it. Bye-bye to Short-eared Owls, at least for now.

Ludo


Last edited by Mako_Elite on Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
 

by David Salem on Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:05 am
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Thanks for the comment Ludo.
Oh no, you were getting tons of great Short ear Owl shots at your location. Sorry for your loss also.
It's unavoidable so get the shots while you can because when you come back the next time, they just might not be there any more.

Good luck
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by Karl Egressy on Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:38 am
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A great image and a sad story that is too familiar everywhere you go, David.
We used to have great birding sites locally a decade or more ago and virtually all of them are gone by now
due to human encroachment.
 

by leigha on Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:19 am
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Thanks for the story, David. Yup, mankind sucks. There are a few local places near where I live, too, that have become overrun with either development, leash-free dog parks, or "nature-lovers". Years back there'd be quiet conservation areas where I was the only one out, now it's good luck finding parking.
Nice image, though.
 

by himadri roy on Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:16 am
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Terrific action shot with great detail, light & eye contact.
 

by Paul Fusco on Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:06 am
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Nice image, David.
Your story is happening all across the country. The loss of habitat is the #1 reason for declines in wildlife populations. When you can relate to the problem on the local level, it really hits home.

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by laura hughes on Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:30 pm
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I miss them too...used to watch entire families of these birds in the irrigation canals in imperial valley, so charming and delightful. This is a great shot, posing just for you!
 

by david fletcher on Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:45 pm
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Mako_Elite wrote:
Super shot David! I love the pose with the cricket. Thanks for the story that goes with the picture. I feel you pain. We lost here superb Short-eared owl and other birds habitat. Vegetation stripped down to soil,,,almost all of it. Bye-bye to Short-eared Owls, at least for now.

Ludo


thanks for sharing that David.  greta shot BTW
Make your life spectacular!
 

by Carol Clarke on Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:30 pm
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Love the shot David!  Your story is becoming all too common with the idiot off-roaders destroying the natural habitats and tranquility of breeding sites. :(

Carol.
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by David Salem on Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:21 pm
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Thanks everyone for the comments. Looks you are all feeling my pain too.
Habitat is being destroyed world wide at an alarming rate so I hope the animals can survive our onslaught.
I really hope our photography can open a few more eyes to the beauty and the fragility of the natural world we share with 99.99% of the other life on this planet.
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by Ron Day on Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:47 pm
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A lovely image and story, David. Great pose with wings back and the cricket ices it. Great work.
 

by Debapratim Saha on Tue May 01, 2018 11:22 pm
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Great pose with the prey and the typical habitat in great light David...a great image is an out come of a great research ..congrats!!
 

by troylim on Sat May 12, 2018 8:04 pm
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Great shot David!
 

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