Jaak Põder - Hard work


This was one of the most time-consuming photo projects I’ve took upon myself. There are about 200-500 of these owls pairs here nesting, so not a very common species for Estonia, especially considering their lifestyle. 1,5 months, every second day (and often every next day, morning and evening), 70 km drive away. Sometimes I spent the night there, but mostly not (back-and-forth 140 km every day — not a very green way).

This Tengmalm’s owl momma (she was a single parent) came out always after dark (at approx 11pm). With eggs, with chicks. I was losing hope of seeing the small owl properly in light, regardless of the pics. But then one of the (last) evenings I arrived late, at ca 9:45 pm, took out my camera, and then in 10 minutes saw that lady in full glory 2 times and also got almost all the shots that I hoped for at that time. Luckily for me it was almost the longest day of the year so there was barely enough light for it.

Location: Estonia

Tags: aegolius funereus, birds, boreal owl, jaak poder, kakud, karvasjalg-kakk, öökull, tengmalms owl

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  1. Bruno said:

    21/03/2011 13:24

    Jaak, thanks for the great picture and nice story behind. I believe this is all about why I do nature photography: vision, passion, patience and commitment that get paid with unique sight and rare behaviours. I really like the expression of the owl and the subdued light. I have been working with this species in Slovakia and know way too well that it's not easy to get pictures other than birds peering out of the nest... Way to go! I

  2. Sven Zacek said:

    24/03/2011 11:15

    Man, spending a spring with owls has been the only thing I know from spring in the last three years. This picture really sums up the late evening feeling. I am already shaking with anxiety when I think about the months to come.

  3. Oriol Alamany said:

    29/03/2011 13:24

    I followed this species in the Spanish Pyrenees for years and it never ceases to amaze me. It'a a so beautiful bird! Nice soft light!