baby owl in nest Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

18 Tips and Ideas for Shooting Cute Baby Owl Photos

February 20, 2023

Dealing with baby owls can be tricky, considering the secretive nature of these birds. However, every dedicated photographer can execute the task flawlessly with a little bit of patience and finesse.

You need to understand the species to know when, where and how to take cute baby owl pictures. If you're wondering where to start, the following article comprehensively reviews how to identify a baby owl and how to get the perfect shot of the adorable bird.

How to Identify a Baby Owl

There are a few simple things to know to identify a baby owl, and they include:

  • How the owlets look after hatching out
  • How big can juvenile owls get
  • What and how do they feed

cute owl in the forest

Photo by Matt Noble on Unsplash

In terms of their outlook after hatching, they are fluffy and are yet to have fully developed feathers and wings. They are fragile and usually fixate in one position while in or on a nest. You are lucky if you can spot these nests.

The chicks grow significantly within the first month and are usually double their hatching weight. Their faces become more detailed, getting flatter in the process, allowing the eyes to pop out. Most importantly, their feathers develop further though not fully until after 14 weeks.

Another easier way to identify juvenile owls is through feeding habits. Adult birds feed them, yet another opportunity for the perfect photo.

So, what are more tips on taking cute baby owl photos? Explore the following tips and ideas to get you started and achieve quality results.

8 Essential Tips to Photograph Baby Owl

Before you use your lens, you either follow or avoid a few steps and factors. Here are essential tips you need to know when dealing with owls and owlets.

1. Learn the Behavior of Owls

two baby owls standing on the grass

Photo by Dave Lowe on Unsplash

Owls are carnivores. Thus, you should expect some hostility and territorial defense when you get too close to the chicks. Sometimes, they are stressed and might just attack without you interfering.

2. Understand the Various Owl Species

Learning about different owl species improves your chances of understanding owls' emotional patterns. You'll realize that other species also have different behavior patterns, which depend on external factors like weather.

For instance, the Snowy owl will hunt at night and roost during the daytime in the winter, while it does the reverse in summer.  

3. Give the Birds Enough Room/Spacing

Since owls are territorial, you are better off giving them space, especially in the presence of adult birds. As secretive creatures, they don't love being around humans. Therefore, you are best suited with a good lens to capture those distanced baby owl shots.

three baby owls sitting on the branch

Photo by Jace The Bird Nerd on shutterstock

4. Adequately Prepare for Outdoor Photography

Yes, you can go to a bird zoo for this, but where's the fun in that; the best bird photographers craft their skills outdoors. Therefore, ensure you carry a full gear, especially an extra lens, and battery. Proper timing is also crucial as well considering weather aspects.

5. Leave Your Dog or Any Other Pet at Home

Dogs can be disruptive during your shoots. They can either distract you or disturb the peace of the owls, leaving your task in a compromising situation. Additionally, these birds have a natural phobia of dogs, especially those in the wild.

6. Avoid Drone Photography

Any bird will perceive a drone as an enemy, considering its elevation. Also, the drone can turn the 'aggressor' during technical problems, falling and injuring or killing a baby owl. 

three alert baby owl in the tree nest

Photo by Anne Coatesy on shutterstock

7. Leaving the Owl Surrounding Intact

You may want to use the owl location once again. Leaving the branches and nest unbothered is essential and gives the juvenile owls a chance to grow safely.

8. Avoid Artificial Lighting in the Dark

Owls have night vision which is said to be disrupted by artificial lighting. Nonetheless, you may use the camera flash, but first, ensure you illuminate the bird.

10 Ideas for Cute Baby Owl Pictures

With the knowledge of identifying a baby owl and executing the task appropriately, here are ideas you can use for cute owl photos.

1. Hatching Owls

hatching owl with her shell

Photo by Eric Isselee on shutterstock 

Freshly hatched owls are an opportunity for a good pic. To avoid the defensive parents, you can conveniently capture the moment in a bird zoo. Additionally, you can get cute baby owl pictures in the wild with an excellent zooming lens.

2. Parent and Juvenile Owls

Parent owl and Juvenile Owls

Photo by Albert Beukhof on shutterstock 

Since the owlets are mostly with adult birds, choose the right moment to get a good family photo. The mother trying to protect the babies is also a cute photo.

3. Triplets Photo

Triplet owls on the tree branch

Photo by petrdd on shutterstock

You are lucky if you can find a group of baby owls. Owlets are usually close together in their nests and will most likely act similarly. Therefore, capturing triplets is among the best baby owl photos.

4. Feeding Time

feeding time of baby owl

Photo by Chase D'animulls on shutterstock 

A mother feeding the owlets is a lovely view. It is an authentic photo that can tell a great story when captured appropriately. Ensure you don't interfere with the feeding process through your flash or noises.

5. Cute Owl on a Branch

two Cute Owls on a Branch

Photo by Kurit afshen on shutterstock

When uninterrupted, owls can maintain their position, allowing you to take multiple owl pictures. Therefore, you can utilize different angles to find one that gets you better results.

6. Fluffy Stage

fluffy owl

Photo by Eric Isselee on shutterstock 

With undeveloped feathers, the owlets are vulnerable, an ironical ingredient for wholesomeness. You can document the owl's growth through its feathers if you are patient enough.

7. Tree Nest Photo

baby owl in tree nest

Photo by Martin Prochazkacz on shutterstock 

Tiny baby owls can be seen peeping through their tree nests, providing you with the perfect picture moment. Again, the secret is maintaining distance to ensure you don't spook them.

8. Sunset Owl Photography

baby owl in sunset

Photo by jo Crebbin on shutterstock

You can't go wrong with any sunset photo session, which is more magnificent on a cute owl standing on a branch. Your results can be more satisfying if you use other aspects, like tree leaves, for a more engaging shot.

9. Silhouette Cute Owl Picture

Silhouette Cute Owl on the tree

Photo by Roger de la Harpe on shutterstock 

On the other hand, you can utilize sunsets for a silhouette photo, considering that it's not advisable to use artificial lighting. 

10. Petting a Baby Owl

cute owl

Photo by Kento35 on shutterstock

You can find people who domesticate owls and allow them to pet an owlet for the perfect bird-human bond. Avoid this in the wild to avoid the aggression of the parent.


You are ready to go with the above tips and ideas on capturing cute baby owl pictures. Follow the preventive tips for your safety, your shooting gear, and most importantly, that of the owlets. Also, do enough research on the species you'd like to photograph.

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