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For the Love of Owls - Conclusion

Short-eared Owl - Jim Flowers

Short-eared Owl - Jim Flowers

Larry Hitchens and Eric Gerber - Jim Flowers

Larry Hitchens and Eric Gerber - photographed by Jim Flowers

So in conclusion of this article, this has been just a small segment of the pursuit of our "Love of the Owl". We still have many species to observe and record photographically. This is a project in progress and we hope to continue our search for opportunities throughout the years to come with more and better images of our existing species and an excited anticipation of collecting images of the species we do not have such as the Barn Owl and the Northern Saw Whet. Every day is a new experience and we have many places left to explore.

I have spent a lot of time this winter in search of the Northern Saw Whet Owl and have been successful with locating several birds by audible means. But getting a visual has proven to be an unfortunate failure so far. But as I study their habitat and behavior it's only a matter of time for success. As I travel farther north into Pennsylvania the chances of finding this species will increase. Finding a Saw Whet is like looking for a needle in a haystack especially the farther south you look.

Jim Flowers - Connie Flowers

Jim Flowers - photographed by Connie Flowers

This coming fall I have been invited to attend a banding session of this tiny species and I'm looking forward to learning more about this owl. Kings Gap State Park and the Michaux State forest in Cumberland County are a major banding area for south central Pennsylvania. Each fall groups of avian biologist and enthusiast gather to entice these little creatures into netting and then collect, weigh and band the owls. I also look forward to travel into Canada in the near future to photograph the Snowy Owl, Great Gray Owl and the Northern Hawk Owl in their natural habitat along with better opportunities for the Northern Saw Whet Owl.

Larry has an obsession with trying to locate and photograph the Barn Owl. He spends hours sending emails to various agencies and individuals seeking information on locations of this species. He has come very close, but as luck would have it, the owl would leave the location or be roosting elsewhere during his visits. I have had numerous sightings of this owl late into the night in areas I have worked or visited but photography was out of the question. Like Larry, I will continue to monitor reports of sightings and explore them with vigor.

Our quest will continue and with a little luck and a lot of determination, we will eventually find our subjects and capture them photographically. It's just a matter of time. - Jim Flowers

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