Our guide Mr. Shard Sharma whispered - " Sir, there is Indian Scops Owl" & all the eyes turned towards the far tree............................................
Ranthambore, the land of tigers! Ranthambore National Park is different from the lush and evergreen forests of South India. This was my first time in Ranthambore, it was all together a different experience. It has a different terrain from the South Indian jungles. It is a deciduous forest, which is quite open and rocky. It has got some beautiful landscapes, which one cannot miss. It has two mountain ranges meeting each other - Aravalli & Vindhya hill ranges, thus creating one of the best landscapes in India.
Owls - I still fancy seeing them, but yes when I was on the way to Ranthambore National park, I had few targets apart from Tigers & Leopards, I wanted to photograph Owls. RTR did not disappoint me in terms of Owl, the first one I saw was Brown Fish Owl, I apologize for not having any images, as it was morning time, low light & it flew as we approached it on the way to third zone.
So I was in my 5th safari & this was in the morning, I had no luck spotting any big cats. Since, I had no luck spotting the big cat, I was looking for Owl, as I had missed clicking Brown Fish Owl, so RTR had to compensate & it did, that too in style.
One common thing about all the owls is their camouflaging abilities. They know very well to camouflage and blend in with the surroundings. This helps them to be safe from their predators and catch their prey easily. As we know, they are nocturnal and hunt in nights while sleep with one eye closed during days.
Now it was morning safari, as usual looking for the pugmarks of Arrowhead or leopard or sloth bear, we were very happy to see the pugmarks which were of Arrowhead, but alas the ending was very sad, as it had just gone in from the four roads. Now, I thought this was it and another dry safari, but there was a happy ending to the morning. We were passing through the forest path, when our guide Mr. Shard Sharma, suddenly whispered, "Sir, there is an Indian Scops Owl", & pointed towards the tree and believe me it was perfectly camouflaged, one cannot easily differentiate between the bark and the owl. It was beautiful, but asleep and we waited till it opened it's eyes, then we had good amount of time to capture it. Owls do not like noise or commotion, & they love being alone so as to avoid getting disturbed by people and thus they have the best camouflaging abilities.
Again a small note and advice to young generation - Please save forests and save wild animals. Avoid making sounds during the safari, this in turn will help your guide and driver to spot the wild animals & give you a better chance to photograph them. SAVE FORESTS & SAVE BIRDS and ANIMALS!
Here are few images:
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