Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Owl Photography at The Sonny Bono Wildlife Refuge


Barn Owl, Sonny Bono Wildlife Refuge, peering from behind dense cluster of palm fronds.

©Bert Gildart:  Several days ago I returned to the Sonny Bono Wildlife Refuge and was able to photograph two owls, ones that have life histories that are entirely different.

One is the burrowing owl, and it is one of the few that hunts during the day. It’s also the only one I know of that lives in a burrow.

The other owl, the barn owl hunts at night and is so different from other species of owls that it is placed in a separate family all its own.

Unfortunately, owls as a group have not received a favorable billing in recent years. Spotted owls are on the endangered species list – and so, is the burrowing owl.


Experts say that owls serve as one of the very best forms of predator control. Placing a new box for owls on a property can help control rodent populations (one family of hungry barn owls can consume more than 3,000 rodents in a nesting season) while maintaining the naturally balanced food chain.

Sometimes owls are also associated with sorcery and I recall in a wonderful book written by Margaret Craven, I Heard the Owl Call My Name, that the protagonist in the book, an aging priest, did in fact hear the owl and when he heard it, he knew his days were numbered.

Photographs shown here were made on the Sonny Bono Refuge and with long telephoto lenses (840mm).

Lens and camera were mounted on a tripod and because I wanted as much depth of field as I could muster from my setup I stopped the aperture down to the point my shutter speeds were at times about 1/15 of a second.


Burrowing owl habitat is diminishing and to help the species, biologist are creating nesting sites from artificial materials.


So as to eliminate camera movement during exposure I used the mirror lockup function on my Nikon D300.



*Joshua Trees


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