Great Horned Owl Perched in Casper Alley [PHOTOS]
Most photo shoots take planning and due diligence. The model for this photo shoot happened by chance. My dog was barking non-stop at something. You know your dog's bark after a while. There is the excited bark. There is the what-is-THAT-dog-doing-on-MY-sidewalk bark. Then there is the what-is-that bark. Turns out my dog spotted a Great Horned Owl perched on a power line. I ran inside and grabbed my camera.
It was looking right at me. Then it did this crazy head bob thing, but it started by leaning forward staring straight into my eyes. It looked like it was in some kind of slow motion dive. Or it was some kind of bird psych out. I saw in a video later that owls do the head bobbing motion for several reasons. One is their eyes are fixed into their socket, so they physically have to move their head. Another reason is to detect distance by seeing a still object from different perspectives.
I was able to get some photos without disturbing it. The owl was more curious about my dog than me. "Wait," I thought, "Is the cat inside?" The cat was safe. I went on with my business. The owl sat on the power line until some other bird swooped in. I didn't see what happened, but there were a few noisy squawks. Then it was gone. I guess he didn't have my invitation to Hogwarts.