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For the Love of Owls - Conclusion
Short-eared Owl - Jim Flowers
Larry Hitchens and Eric Gerber - photographed by Jim Flowers
So in conclusion of this article, this has been just a small segment of the pursuit of our "Love of the Owl". We still have many species to observe and record photographically. This is a project in progress and we hope to continue our search for opportunities throughout the years to come with more and better images of our existing species and an excited anticipation of collecting images of the species we do not have such as the Barn Owl and the Northern Saw Whet. Every day is a new experience and we have many places left to explore.
I have spent a lot of time this winter in search of the Northern Saw Whet Owl and have been successful with locating several birds by audible means. But getting a visual has proven to be an unfortunate failure so far. But as I study their habitat and behavior it's only a matter of time for success. As I travel farther north into Pennsylvania the chances of finding this species will increase. Finding a Saw Whet is like looking for a needle in a haystack especially the farther south you look.
Jim Flowers - photographed by Connie Flowers
This coming fall I have been invited to attend a banding session of this tiny species and I'm looking forward to learning more about this owl. Kings Gap State Park and the Michaux State forest in Cumberland County are a major banding area for south central Pennsylvania. Each fall groups of avian biologist and enthusiast gather to entice these little creatures into netting and then collect, weigh and band the owls. I also look forward to travel into Canada in the near future to photograph the Snowy Owl, Great Gray Owl and the Northern Hawk Owl in their natural habitat along with better opportunities for the Northern Saw Whet Owl.
Larry has an obsession with trying to locate and photograph the Barn Owl. He spends hours sending emails to various agencies and individuals seeking information on locations of this species. He has come very close, but as luck would have it, the owl would leave the location or be roosting elsewhere during his visits. I have had numerous sightings of this owl late into the night in areas I have worked or visited but photography was out of the question. Like Larry, I will continue to monitor reports of sightings and explore them with vigor.
Our quest will continue and with a little luck and a lot of determination, we will eventually find our subjects and capture them photographically. It's just a matter of time. - Jim Flowers
Jim Flowers is a professional commercial and family photographer, freelance photojournalist, graphic artist, and aspiring nature photographer. Originally from Texas, Jim began his photographic career as a partner with Frederick Boswell Photographers in Houston specializing in architectural, aerial and industrial photography serving the corporate scene, advertising, and the petroleum industry. He also founded Acu-color Photographic Labs serving other professional photographers in the Houston area. He later branched into family and sports photography.
After 12 years in Houston, Jim relocated to Washington DC to spend 16 years with the National Geographic Society and magazine in prepress production. Now retired from the magazine, Jim has started Arts N Images, a small home-based photography business serving the Hanover-Gettysburg Pennsylvania area.
"Once just a hobby and now a passion, photographing nature has become an integral part of my photography experience. I devote much of my spare time to exploring the outdoors and the flora and fauna that exists in the various areas I visit."
- J Flowers, Arts N Images.
Eric Gerber is a professional photographer and videographer. He grew up in Pennsylvania and spent many days hiking, camping and fishing. During this time he first developed an interest in the natural world as well as in photography and art. He studied fine art and photography in college and earned a Bachelors degree. After college he worked as a graphic designer and a prepress technician for several commercial printing companies. He later changed careers and started his professional photographic career as a portrait and wedding photographer. He also now works as a commercial photographer.
An avid nature lover from an early age, Eric now spends his free time photographing nature in all its glory. His nature photo work includes landscapes, birds and animals in many locations around North America. Eric now resides in Middle River, a Baltimore Maryland suburb.
Larry Hitchens is an artist in his own right by spending the last 30 years designing custom residential kitchens for a firm on Maryland's Eastern Shore in the town of Easton. Now semi retired, he spends most all of his spare time enjoying his hobby of Nature Photography. Waterfowl and Raptors are his primary interest with Owls being his true passion. As a late starter, Larry became serious about photography at age 65. He has since won several contests and a recent national photo contest which will be published in Ducks Unlimited magazine May-June 2011 issue. Larry is also one of only two photographers whose work is on display and for sale on a year round basis at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge near Cambridge Maryland.
Born in California, Larry moved to Maryland at age 5, but he would be considered a native "Eastern Shoreman" and knows the area by every nook and cranny. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with other photographers and visitors alike.