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Waiting for the right moment … Kathryn Nazzaro captures photos of Eastern screech owls

It has been a great season for Eastern screech owls this year here in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Most screech owls will sit in the sun with their eyes open in little slits, just so they can still watch you! It takes patience for an open-eyes’ shot.

I find that patience and happiness is all I have when I am in the outdoors searching for wonderful experiences like these. It is a gift to come across them and very fulfilling spiritually for me. We have a nesting pair of Red Phase Eastern screech owls here in Salisbury, Mass., the town where I grew up.

Male screech owl

The male is smaller and locals have named him “Rufus.” The female owl was photographed with my Olympus E3 & 35-100mm F2 with 2X teleconverter attached. With Olympus the sensor has an automatic 2x crop and they design their lenses around their sensors. So that makes some lenses more compact and more manageable if you want to hand hold shoot and not be on a tripod. So my 35x100mm automatically is a 70-200mm plus  — doubled bring it to actual 400mm F4 if needed. For shooting the male, smaller than the female, I used a 150mm F2 fixed lens and a 2x teleconverter with my E3. This equaled a 600mm F4. I have stabilization in my body and this is an incredible system at half the size of a Nikon or Canon. I was able to hand hold and get very sharp photos.

Female screech owl

I was not sure if it could be done, but was pleasantly surprised with the results. It is a technique to handhold this type of magnification – whether the stabilization is in the body or in the lens. It is a gift to be in the presence of these magnificent birds and have the chance to take these photos. ~Kathryn Nazzaro

Kathryn Nazzaro works for Hunt’s Photo & Video in sales. In fact, she was “top sales person” for 2007 and 2008.

Kathryn says, “For as long as I can remember, I have loved the outdoors and all the beauty it has to offer. I started exploring the outdoors at the age of three, by catching snakes, frogs, turtles and birds. I began fishing at my “Nana’s” camp in Raymond, N.H., from the dock or by rowboat all by myself. I’d row across the lake to an island to eat the wild blueberries.

“Loving nature and being fascinated by it has shaped my life into how I live today. The outdoors is my church. I have grown to love outdoor photography and have been active in this area for 17 years. Teaching myself by books and lots of practice has brought me lots of great photos and experiences to remember. Being onboard with Hunt’s Photo and Video sales team has introduced me to a lot of great outdoor photographers across the country.”

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    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.


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One Comment
  • Bill Bowers says: March 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Kathryn, Thanks for a terrific post, and the impressive photos of Eastern screech owls!