Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
ShawnZ

Birds in Winter, life and death.

13 posts in this topic

In the midst of my enthusiasm to photograph birds in Northeastern Minnesota, I am frequently reminded of the life and death struggle that these creatures go through on a daily basis. This hawk owl routinely hunted close to a four lane highway this winter and was quite succesfull using traffic to it's advantage; as cars passed by the occassional vole would flush and a meal was had. On the other hand, this great gray owl, discovered on Christmas Day in the Sax/Zim Bog, was a sad reminder that owls near roadsides sometimes meet unfortunate ends. I don't know for sure how the owl passed away, but finding it on the road seemed telling. This white winged crossbill wets it's whistle by eating snow, for during January there is little water to be had in most places across the northland. And lastly, this common redpoll passed away in my yard for reasons unknown, no where near a window, no obvious external injuries, I like to think it lived a full life and finally made it's final migration, but who knows. All photographs taken in St. Louis Cty, during the Winter season 08-09. Comments and critiques always welcome.

Regards, Shawn Zierman.

live.jpg

owl55.jpg

malecrossbill50.jpg

death1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A very moving series Shawn! Nicely done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is very true but sad story. We have a strange acting Redpoll that has been hanging around the feeder that we can walk right up to and almost touch. I only hope that the Shrike that has been hanging around get's the Redpoll and not our pair of Cardinals. Thanks for sharing your story Shawn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very Nice Shawn!(Love that NHO!)....another perspective of the north country that isn't shared everyday but very much a part of our lives......Even as that great gray and redpoll are lying there ...one can't help but see the beauty of those creature in their eternal sleep...such dignified creatures!...you captured them so honorably!.....to some they're mere "roadkills".....to others ...life was lost.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...one can't help but see the beauty of those creature in their eternal sleep...such dignified creatures!...you captured them so honorably!.....to some they're mere "roadkills".....to others ...life was lost.....

Well said. I had such a hard time looking at the great gray photo particularly, though it is so well done. Talk about emotional impact. It is like seeing a deer downed along the highway and getting that flash recognition of your pet's little face. There must be something about a universal holiness in all creatures. Your thought of "beauty in their eternal sleep' was very helpful. I will just give Maggie an extra kiss on the nose, and say--thank you, Shawn, and thank you jonny redhorse (also known for photos with emotional impact).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great series of images! Very moving.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thankyou all so much for your kind and thoughtful comments. About the ggo....It was Christmas Day and we were headed to a family Christmas party in the great town of Hibbing. When headed that way, I will frequently pass through the bog as it is never time wasted. After turning onto Hwy 7, I glimpsed something on the road out of the corner of my eye. I'm quite sure I knew what it was the instant I saw it but was compelled to go back and look anyway. I was suprised by my own disappointment when I confirmed my suspicion. I have seen dead birds before. I remember last year finding a dead fox sparrow in my front yard, man they are beautiful up close! But the owl was different, so regal an animal, so few to be found, the loss seemed more profound. I had never taken a picture of a dead bird before but something about that moment struck a different chord. It had been two years since I had seen a great gray owl prior to finding this one. Even dead, it WAS special to me and I did my best to make a tasteful portrait worthy of such a creature. The picture has continued to have an impact on me. Death is as much a part of life as living is. In the future, as with the common redpoll, if it feels appropriate, I will continue to make such images if only to mark and remember what was lost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great series Shawn. Life and death happen and we must face it no matter what. The deceased owl looks pieceful in his eternal rest. Very well done and very respectfully...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, these are outstanding. The GGO shot is certainly a special one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • Actually the guy at ace was pretty close. These little guys are for framing steel studs before sheetrocking,  but yes they also could be for sheet metal work even though they are black . But your right hawg sharp and go in fast. 
    • What  a sweet find !!   Even better that you had a camera handy !!
    • Great trade and as of last year I know I wasn't ready to part with Lavine and his potential but that all changed when he went down with the injury.  I hope Lavine becomes a stud for Chicago in a few years but our time to win is now with this addition!!  Great move giving up hope for a top 15 player in the league that plays D is brilliant with the young studs we still have on roster.  Now all we need to do is add another player or 2 in free agency to strengthen our bench and we will be looking good.  Excited for the free agency to start!!! Playoffs here we come!!!!!! GO WOLVES!!!!!!!!!!!
    • http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2017/06/22/mall-of-america-slips/   Classic case of doctors juicing up a medical claim with a series of failed therapies, creating a life long patient and a corporation with deep pockets to bill for those services.  Think not?  Dont be so naive.  Nobody wanted to fix her, they just wanted to keep billing, sad deal that happens all too often.          
    • That Drouin contract at 5.5 is kind of bad for us right now. Nino is far more proven than him and Granlund has had the beast season out of the 3 of them. Hard to see anything under 5 for each of them. 
    • Looks like the Wild moved Schroeder for....another Schroeder.  Maybe the new guy will be more consistent.   I see Evander Kane is on the trade market.  On the expensive side, but if the Wild decide to move Scandella instead of Dumba, that would free up more money.  A guy capable of scoring 30+ goals with some size would be sweet.     I am thinking Granlund and Nino each sign for in between 4-5$ mil each.  Hopefully less and hopefully Pominville will restructure a little.  Doesn't leave a ton of cap space for free agents or other guys.     Lots of moving parts in Chicago.  They seem to be moving a lot of parts around to try to work with their cap situation.  
    • I think you, or the person at Ace, meant "Sheet metal". That's what they're used for....sheet metal and HVAC work. They have a self-tapping thread. Look on your furnace where the sheet-metal ducting is fastened...bingo!   Also called "sheet metal screws".  Hope they work for ya!  
    • Reminds me of a memorable morning at our place when  THREE male's landed on a front picture window ledge and just sat there for a few minutes looking in.  What a glorious sight!  They were likely just moving through because we do not see them during a normal summer. In fact this summer we have noticed a decline in many species; no bluebirds at all, only a couple doves, fewer swallows, not as many wrens (but still plenty of them) and for the first time a pair of cowbirds. Normal mornings are like a symphony around here just about daybreak.
    • forgot I made this post, I fished a lake here in SD last weekend that has a sunken road way and bridge completely submerged. Its gotten to the point the concrete has fallen apart under water but you can still see most of the structure in tact but also some rebar etc.   I wanted to get a screen capture but as usual that exact spot was popular and already occupied with other boats playing bumper boats to anchor and fish near and I didn't want to intrude on their fishing space just for a picture. 
    • Good post and discussion. I'm convinced not more than 10%, and that might be stretching it and I include myself in the 90%, know how to use their equipment. Every fishing site is loaded with similar posts.
  • Our Sponsors