Barred Owl

Barred Owl

Late Sunday afternoon, a crowd had gathered outside the Qualicum Foods grocery store in quaint town of Qualicum Beach on central Vancouver Island. A barred owl had taken up residence in a tree at the entrance and proved popular with locals out for their shopping.

Barred Owl
A sleepy barred owl rests in a tree outside a grocery store in Qualicum Beach.

While I took some photos with my phone, I wasn’t satisfied. So after dropping off that evening’s dinner, I grabbed my Nikon D610 and the 55-300mm zoom lens to get some better shots. This image was taken with the ISO set to 100, at f/5.6 and an exposure 1/13th of a second.

Almost frozen in place, eyes closed, it seemed unreal, but the owl turned its head a few times to let us know it was still alive and waiting for the sun to set. The feathery creature appeared oblivious to the crows who were gathering on nearby overhead wires, most likely intent on chasing the larger bird from the branches.

According to Wikipedia, barred owls are common in British Columbia, roosting in our province’s lush forests. The residents of Qualicum Beach will get to see this winged predator again, maybe just not waiting for its chance at grocery shopping.

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