This is a dispatch and photos from Star Tribune Outdoors Weekend section contributor Jeff Moravec:

No matter how hard you look while slowly cruising through the Sax-Zim Bog, the birding mecca northwest of Duluth, you may not spot a great gray owl (the bog’s most popular target).

When I’m skunked, I like to tell myself there were simply no birds around. More likely, I’m just not seeing them.

Case in point. I spotted this owl one recent morning, sitting plain as day at the end of a branch in a dead tree, nothing but sky behind him. After hunting, the owl flew to the perch pictured here. I thought I saw where the bird landed, trained my lens on the spot and snapped a few pictures. But when I took the camera away from my eye, I was convinced I was mistaken — I could not see an owl. It wasn’t until I saw it turn its head and stare at me with those bright yellow eyes that I knew with certainty that the owl was there.

How many times have I driven past one of these in exactly that first pose? Too many, I’m sure.

Older Post

Get in on the Christmas Bird Count across Minnesota

Newer Post

Week to week, Minnesota fatbike ride calendar is filled