A pair of juvenile barn owls peek out from their nesting cavity, which is five stories up in a nearly-finished office building in Coldstream Research Campus in Lexington. It’s unusual for barn owls to nest in man-made structures, but wildlife biologist hope that they will return in future years to raise more babies in a nesting box which will be installed after this set of babies fledge. There are currently only around 10 known nesting sites in Kentucky. You can read Andy Mead’s full story about the owls on Kentucky.com.
As you can see, they are quite a ways up there and very tough to see with the naked eye. Many birders have been coming by to watch them at dusk with binoculars and spotting scopes. During the four times I have visited the site to photograph them, they have never appeared before 9:30, which is quite a few minutes after the sun has gone down. The two photos of the owls were taken with the Canon 1D Mark IV at 6400 ISO with a 600mm lens, 1.4 teleconverter. The exposure was VERY slow: anywhere from 1/4 second to a full second at f/5.6. A cable release was crucial to keep the lens/camera from moving. Most of the time, I couldn’t clearly see the owls until after the exposure was made and I could look at the back of the camera.