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A Rare and Enchanting Sight

April 25, 2024

A Rare and Enchanting Sight

- as seen by -

Stacy Ratel Stacy Ratel

It was just before dawn. I ventured into the woods, camera in hand. I never anticipated stumbling upon such a rare and enchanting sight.

Having spotted both owl adults nearby, I suspected they had created a nest. My eyes began scanning the forest. The thrill of the unknown pulsed through me as I cautiously approached their hidden sanctuary. I had never before discovered an owl’s nest, let alone witnessed the delicate beauty of a great horned owlet (Bubo virginianus) nestled within it.

I caught the first glimpse of creamy-colored downy feathers peeking out from the curved wood of the nest’s entryway. At a respectful distance, I cleared a small patch of ground beneath my feet, careful not to disturb the peaceful surroundings. Every rustle of leaves could feel like an intrusion upon this sacred moment.

The sun began to rise from blue twilight to daylight painting the sky with hues of pink and gold. Despite the storm that had blown down their former nest, the owls had managed to find refuge in this new cavity nearby. I watched in awe as the owlet stirred from its slumber. Its fluffy feathers contrasted starkly with the sleek plumage of adult owls, proof of its youth. Its camouflage against the tree bark was seamless.

Seconds after sunrise, instead of the customary crow of a rooster, the forest echoed with the deep hoots of the male owl. The owlet, responding to the call of nature, stretched its wings like a magical wand and gracefully levitated to a naturally designed perch above its bed.

Capturing this moment on camera was a privilege beyond words. It was a remarkably tranquil discovery that I will carry with me forever, a testament to the beauty and wonder of the natural world. As I quietly retreated from the scene, leaving the owlet to bask in the gentle embrace of the dawn, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime encounter.

Canon R5

, US Map It


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Stacy Ratel
April 25, 2024 at 11:21 am

Thank you very much for featuring my photograph. The discovery of a nest is an unforgettable experience.

    WCS Photo Blog
    April 25, 2024 at 11:25 am

    We appreciate your sharing special moments in nature like this one.