Snowy Owls of Lee County Illinois

I started my day at 3:45 AM.  I wanted to be at my Snowy Owl spot at day break.


I had never really shot a sunrise or landscape with my 500mm prime.  I had already found my first owl and was waiting for enough light to photograph it in.


The second owl almost attacked me when I got out of the car to setup on her.

Not sure what I love more, their EYES or their FEET?PBKJ9003-FrameShop

After the first shot, I took the 500mm prime off and went the rest of interaction with this female with my 70-200mm.  She allowed me to spend about 45 minutes with her. It was something very special to get to connect and interact with nature.  This was yet another life changing moment, and ranks right up their with my Smoky Mountain Bear and 3 cubs.PBKJ9082-FrameShop PBKJ9083-FrameShop PBKJ9103-FrameShop PBKJ9133-FrameShop PBKJ9134-FrameShop

Shot at 700mm, 500mm + 1.4 teleconverter.PBKJ9139-FrameShop PBKJ9144Header-FrameShop

Posted this one for a better foot shot.  Does that mean I have a foot fetish?PBKJ9147-FrameShop

One of the next two will be printed and hanging on a wall in my home soon.PBKJ9154-FrameShop PBKJ9156-FrameShop PBKJ9161-FrameShop

See Kent, I can be an Eagle too!PBKJ9214-FrameShop

At least 4 Snowy Owls found and photographed.  Couldn’t really determine if the 5th owl was the same owl I was following flying or a new owl.

Commercial recap:  3:45 AM wake up + watched sunrise + 280 miles + $57.50 in gas + 9 hours in a car + FULL Frame Snowy Owls photos = PRICELESS!!!!!!

Not sure if the Snow Owls will be back in winters to come, but at least I got to photograph these really cool birds.  They weren’t even on my bucket list, but got to cross them off non the less.

Not sure what March will bring with both my Eagles and Owls moving out.  Hopefully it will be warm enough to play some golf soon!

Next up in April will be the Masters Golf Tournament and 4 days in Great Smoky Mountain National Park (GSMNP).

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15 thoughts on “Snowy Owls of Lee County Illinois

  1. don’t know if you were there today (3/1) or yesterday? But my friend and I were there today, enjoying the beauty. We saw three. Words just can’t describe! Your pictures captured my feelings….. awesome.

    • I went yesterday (Friday 2/28) since there was a chance of snow for both Saturday and Sunday. I am wondering since we are getting more snow if they will be around next weekend or not.

      Thanks for the nice compliment!

      • it’s still a little surreal…. we went up today not even sure we’d see one, but three! I’m hoping they stay around a bit yet. It was snowing before we left…. Hope you get another chance to see them. How fortunate we are this winter they have decided to grace us with their presence…

  2. Kent,
    All of these images are beautiful. I may try for one or two snowy owl images on a trip up to New England soon if they are still around. You’ve got some amazing images of the owls and eagles.
    Chris Norcott

    • Thank you Chris, that means a lot coming from such a great photographer as yourself. Hopefully we can met up in Cade Cove while I am on my GSMNP trip the first week of April.

    • Thanks Andie, wish I could have showed you a few last Sunday, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Maybe next Saturday.

    • Thank you! Glad you enjoy my work. It snowed Saturday night and more snow coming tonight, so I am guessing we will get one more weekend with the Snowy Owls.

    • No, she was just sitting on a pile of corn stalks and husks trying to keep warm. The Eagles have already laid their eggs, but I have no clue where Snowy Owls nest or when.

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