Photographing an Eastern Screech Owl

Eastern Screech Owl at Sunset

This is probably the most photographed owl in Indiana, yet I can’t help but take a picture of her every time I enter the woods. As a local, she feels like an old friend to me after a couple years. When I get lucky and she’s perched in her usual spot, I can’t help but whisper a quick “Hello” before I enter into the trees and commune with nature for an hour or so.

On this particular night, a few days before Christmas, I got to say hello to a couple human friends as well as we checked in with her at sunset. Something about it felt right, the holiday season and all.

Recently, I saw someone post our girl from a different angle, and at first it bothered me. Locals have been trying to keep people on the path and diligently protecting her. So when you see an image from a different angle, you know someone didn’t stay on the path. After thinking about it, I decided it probably wasn’t about someone not following the “rules,” but more about my pride. I’d love to take that shot, find a different angle, do something new – instead of the same shot over and over again.

But I’ll settle for the fact that I get to live with her week in and week out, and I know she is a friend worth protecting. It’s a reminder that these creatures are worth more than likes and perfect shots – and my pride. 

To see more of my adventures, you can check out my Instagram here.


Jen Ritchie

I'm a nature photographer who loves capturing beautiful landscapes and wildlife from our yearly trips out West and parks here closer to home.

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