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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 26 Oct 2017 (Thursday) 20:44
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is it ridiculous to get a thermal imager for owls?

 
MalVeauX
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Oct 28, 2017 06:57 |  #16

Heya,

I don't think its ridiculous, but I do also agree with Tom in that there's two things going on here and you have to figure out what you're wanting: 1) just actually photographing the owl(s) in the wild, regardless of how the photo turns out; 2) photographing the owls for the best image you can. One is like a milestone or achievement, one is dedicated image creation that requires several sessions. Nothing wrong either way, but it changes what you need and what to do.

Personally I think it would be an interesting tool to help, but ultimately, I would look for the owls nests and GPS them with a fairly accurate GPS handheld, like geocaching, and just start finding nests. Find those, and you find the owls. Then you can go to the nests, get their early before the owls get active, and hang out, looking for best position relative to the canopy cover, etc, for the best shot and angle. It may take a few attempts.

Very best,


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Oct 28, 2017 08:13 as a reply to  @ post 18482937 |  #17

Step #1 - Find the owls.
Step #2 - Figure out how the heck your going to get a decent photo but got to get through step #1 first. :)


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Oct 28, 2017 12:10 |  #18

Man, the Great Horned Owls here detect me from a day away, and are gone as soon as I get anywhere near the patch they live in. I got lucky, once. Ever since then, I just put it out of my mind that there's a pair of owls in the vicinity, because if I spend time tracking them and hoping to catch a shot (which I've done too many times to count), it's wasted time I could spend on something more amicable. With the FLIR, yeah, even if you could find them, you won't be able to get close, unfortunately.


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gjl711
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Oct 28, 2017 12:14 |  #19

I got lucky once and while on a hike came upon a juvi-GHO. I started shooting maybe 50 yards away and was able to get within 10~15 yards before it flew away.

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Oct 28, 2017 16:00 |  #20

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18482937 (external link)
Something about all of this makes me curious. . The heat detector, even if it helps you find an owl.........well, how is that going to lead to good photos of the owl? . I mean, if an owl is skittish and doesn't feel comfortable with humans getting close, then won't it just fly away once you locate it and try to approach within photo range? . Also, if an owl is up in a tree, with lots of foliage and branches around it, and the sky behind it, how in the world are you going to ever get a clear shot of the owl with a nice background, favorable angle, appealing pose, no "sky holes", etc.

I mean, I wonder how locating an owl is going to lead to decent photo opportunities. . There are lots and lots of times when I see an owl whilst afield with my camera gear, but 99% of the time, there is just no way to get any kind of decent image.....even with my 800mm lens. . The only way this can work to give you the desired results, I think, is to use it during nesting season to find owls on their nests - then if you can find that you will have something you can work with, especially if you come back later with a means of getting up to the same height the nest is at (orchard ladder, step ladder, tree climbing spikes, etc).

.

most the owls around here are nearby popular hiking trails, so i don't really think skittish is much of an issue...it may be, but i'll find that out...yeah this is mainly for locating owls during the nesting season to find the area that they are in...not really to find the nest, but to find where there would be fledgling's hanging out outside of the nest when they leave it

MalVeauX wrote in post #18483004 (external link)
Heya,

I don't think its ridiculous, but I do also agree with Tom in that there's two things going on here and you have to figure out what you're wanting: 1) just actually photographing the owl(s) in the wild, regardless of how the photo turns out; 2) photographing the owls for the best image you can. One is like a milestone or achievement, one is dedicated image creation that requires several sessions. Nothing wrong either way, but it changes what you need and what to do.

Personally I think it would be an interesting tool to help, but ultimately, I would look for the owls nests and GPS them with a fairly accurate GPS handheld, like geocaching, and just start finding nests. Find those, and you find the owls. Then you can go to the nests, get their early before the owls get active, and hang out, looking for best position relative to the canopy cover, etc, for the best shot and angle. It may take a few attempts.

Very best,

it's definitely a bit of both 1 and 2...i'd like to actually see them, and by finding the areas that the inhabit hopefully it can lead to some photo opportunities...ideall​y this is to be used to find the nesting areas...since the spotted owls are endangered there are no ebird spots to check out because nothing is ever reported...but i've got some leads so it's going to be lots of hiking around regardless if i'm using a thermal imager or not...right now i do think i'd maybe play a few calls

gjl711 wrote in post #18483040 (external link)
Step #1 - Find the owls.
Step #2 - Figure out how the heck your going to get a decent photo but got to get through step #1 first. :)

exactly


i mean this morning i saw 3 great horned owls, and 1 barn owl...did i get anything great photo wise from today, no...but i know exactly where to go if i wanted to try for one


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is it ridiculous to get a thermal imager for owls?
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