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Great Gray Owl, perched in a redwood tree | by birding4ever
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Great Gray Owl, perched in a redwood tree

Elk Prairie State Park, Humboldt County, California


On Wednesday morning, February 10, I drove up to Elk Prairie State Park in Humboldt County, hoping that I could not only see but take a photo or two of this Great Gray Owl, a lifer for me. On arriving in late afternoon there were about 10 vehicles parked out on the main road on the east side, the occupants all inside hoping for the owl to show. I drove around to the northwest side near the Visitor Center and parked. After getting out of my vehicle I saw what I thought might be an owl drop into the prairie. Waiting, the owl flew up into a redwood tree with a vole in its bill. Walking south about 100 feet along a side trail, I finally saw that the owl was a Great Gray Owl, the lifer that I've been looking for. Although the 2 photos that I did take were taken from about 50 feet away, the owl flew to a sign and actually posed there allowing those who were there to approach as close as 30 feet but my photos were not of the same quality as the 2 that I have posted here on Flickr from the first location. I spent the night in a motel in Crescent City and dropped by the prairie on my way home on Thursday but at the time I arrived there were no vehicles around nor any birders or photographers so instead of hanging around for several hours until the owl showed, I took off for home.

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Taken on February 10, 2016