Last month a couple of us went into Silverado Canyon to try and capture video of a Western Screech-Owl with the new Canon 7D camera. We found this cute little screech-owl right next to the road and used it to test our night-time video skills.
Night photography is always a challenge but with this camera in video mode, it was surprisingly simple to get great footage “fresh out of the box”. We set out this evening with only a small flashlight, camera, and tripod. For a first attempt with so little equipment, we were very pleased with the results.
The Canon 7D represents a big technological jump in digital photography. This camera delivers video and photo capabilities that give professional results at a reasonable cost to any amateur photographer.
We have now spent enough time with this camera to know that the rave reviews we hear about it are well justified. We took this video in the field at low light levels with minimal equipment, thus limiting the impact on the subject. The Canon 7D did a great job, producing high-quality video of Western Screech-owl under compromising conditions.
Western Screech-Owl has the highest population density in the foothills of our local area. He is a common resident of oak habitat in the Western United States. He is very similar to the other three species of screech-owls found in the US. The most obvious and defining characteristic of all owls is their call. The “bouncing ball” call of the Western Screech-Owl is very distinctive and make his identification very simple. Although common he is often missed visually by the birdwatchers. He is very well camouflaged, lives in dense wooded habitat and can be very difficult to locate by voice.