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Barred Owl on the Dutchess Rail Trail

Just south of Lake Walton on the Dutchess Rail Trail, I encountered a barred owl with wings spread around something yummy in its talons (clicky for more dots):

MAH00389-0548 - Barred Owl on DCRT - 1

MAH00389-0548 – Barred Owl on DCRT – 1

The owl acquired weapons lock on me, just in case I might try to steal its fresh-killed meal:

MAH00389-0548 - Barred Owl on DCRT - 2

MAH00389-0548 – Barred Owl on DCRT – 2

My neck doesn’t turn nearly that far, so I lost the staring contest:

MAH00389-0548 - Barred Owl on DCRT - 3

MAH00389-0548 – Barred Owl on DCRT – 3

Owls being good folks to have around, we wish ’em well: may they raise many owlets!

The pictures were extracted from the Sony HDR-AS30V helmet camera with this incantation:

avconv -ss 00:05:30 -i /mnt/video/2015-05-15/MAH00389.MP4 -t 20 -f image2 -q 1 Image-%04d.jpg

The -q 1 parameter should produce an image with the same dots as the original, but that really doesn’t mean much in the face of the camera’s relentless video compression.

Here’s a dot-for-dot crop (at 100% JPEG quality = uncompressed) showing the tradeoff between wide field-of-view, detail, and compression:

MAH00389-0548 - Barred Owl on DCRT - 2 - detail

MAH00389-0548 – Barred Owl on DCRT – 2 – detail

Makes me appreciate my eyesight: I spotted that owl when it covered just a few image pixels. Of course, at first I thought somebody dropped a hoodie on the trail, then maybe it was a chunk of debris, so I eased off the asphalt onto the gravel Just In Case.

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  1. #1 by Red County Pete on 2015-05-30 - 19:29

    Most of the birds at the local Road-Kill Cafe are magpies, but occasionally we get a golden eagle. Not sure if it’s roadkill, or good timing on the eagle’s part…

    I had a robin do a nest on my weed-wacker/cultivator/etc power head in the shelter. I moved the nest (4 eggs) and it looks like momma is willing to go with my placement. Maybe.

    • #2 by Ed on 2015-05-31 - 09:06

      We watched “our” hawk take three mice in quick succession from the undergrowth that was once our neighbor’s flower garden: timing may be everything, but it starts with keen eyesight!

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