It’s always a thrill when I’m able to get close to magnificent birds of prey like this Great Horned Owl. I photographed this beauty back in September 2011 at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. He was perched right next to the auto tour road leading to the Moody Boat Ramp, but on the passenger side of my truck.

A Great Horned Owl in Oklahoma

A Great Horned Owl in Oklahoma

I’m usually hesitant to exit my vehicle when photographing wildlife, for fear they’ll fly off as soon as they see me. But this Owl held his ground as I cautiously opened the door and used it to brace myself for a clear shot. I was relieved he didn’t budge an inch!

Great Horned Owls are year-round residents here in Oklahoma and it’s hit or miss whether I’ll encounter one on my photography excursions. I saw a pair at Sequoyah last year but wasn’t able to get a stellar photo. My fingers are crossed that I’ll have another sighting this year and capture these magnificent raptors on camera again soon!

Part of the thrill of wildlife photography is the serendipity of coming across animals in their natural habitats. I feel fortunate to have captured this striking owl in the golden light of autumn in Oklahoma. Moments like these make venturing out with my camera totally worthwhile.

Capturing nature’s beauty,

Steve Creek, Wildlife Photographer

Gear Used:

Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III
Lens: Canon EF 500 mm f/4L IS


Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
Date & Time Taken: September 19, 2011 (08:04:18 A.M.)
Aperture Priority
Aperture: f6.3
Shutter speed: 1/640 sec. (as determined by the camera)
ISO: 800
Focal Length: 500 mm

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A Great Horned Owl With The Head Of A Pied-billed Grebe