PICKAWAY – Local Amateur Ecologist, wildlife enthusiast, and beginning photographer Joshua Wiley has been hunting amazing shots of wildlife since August.
Wiley said he captured the shots of the short eared owl just a few miles outside of Circleville. “I can’t disclose the exact location because I need to protect the owls. I found the location myself by sleuthing based on different public sources of information including on social media. What we can’t have is a whole bunch of random people just disturbing the owls in the area. Not trying to be elitist but that’s the way it is in this part of birding.”
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“Shots were taken with a Nikon D500 + 500 mm f/5.6 mostly 4000 ISO.”
The Short Ear Owl is a silent predator, only chirping and hissing in nest. Unlike most other owls it hunts in late afternoon. The owls diet consists of mostly mice with occasion other small mammals.
The Short Ear Owl is considered a species of special interest. Special Interest: A species that occurs periodically and is capable of breeding in Ohio. It is at the edge of a larger, contiguous range with viable population within the core of its range. These species have no federal endangered or threatened status, are at low breeding densities in the state, and have not been recently released to enhance Ohio’s wildlife diversity. With the exception of efforts to conserve occupied areas, minimal management efforts will be directed for these species because it is unlikely to result in significant increases in their populations within the state. (Source Dept of Ohio Wildlife)