Almost 10 years ago, Short-eared Owls were the first birds I intentionally set out to photograph. It was a windy, rainy day, and I never saw one of the storied winter owls of the Pacific Northwest. So I kept searching.

Eventually, I found them, but could never get close enough. Or I was lacking the photographic skills.

It’s taken almost a decade, but I think I’m starting to get the hang of these beautiful birds of prey, which fight and screech like cats and hunt when the sun is scarce.

The first image in the gallery below made the Top 100 of the Audubon Photography Awards, which attracted more than 9,000 entries in 2023, and the North American Nature Photographers Association (NANPA) Showcase in 2024. The second image was cited in the international competition, Share the View, which drew 2,636 entries for 2022. The third image also was recognized by Share the View in 2024.

Clicking on an image will launch a full-sized viewer.