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Talk about unexpected!! My 4-year old son and I were taking a walk through the Big Sioux Recreation Area, a State Park right across the street from us. I'd never really had that outstanding of a birding experience in the park, and despite the proximity, usually pass it by. Well, on this beautiful fall day, as we walked, the cedar tree 5 feet in front of us erupted as a lone Long-eared Owl flushed out. Very surprised, we paused a moment, took 2 more steps...and then no less than 7 more flushed out!!
Amazing how close we were without seeing them in the cedars. I was thinking what a great birding find it was, but never expected to get much for photos, given how the few I'd ever seen before were so incredibly shy. Well, not these guys!! I could walk right up to them as they roosted in the cedars. The toughest part was getting a clear shot. The top photo is the only one I found completely in the open. The second was one I found in a spruce tree. The third was taken right at sunset (sun in the background).
Photos taken on November 12th, and November 21st, 2007 at the Big Sioux Recreation Area near Brandon, South Dakota.
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