Welcome to Rick Marsi Online

For the past three decades, Rick Marsi's name has become synonymous with excellence in the following fields:

 

  • Visually stunning slide programs on nature and travel
  • Guided nature walks that educate and inspire
  • Professionally escorted nature tours in the USA and beyond

 

Purchase Rick's books and photos, hire him as a speaker for your next meeting or special event, or engage him to lead you on a guided nature walk.

Available for sale here now...

For the Love of Wetlands

From ice-out in early spring until freeze-up in late fall, this diary of daily observations chronicles Rick’s intimate encounters with hundreds of different birds, mammals, flowers and butterflies at his favorite wetland in upstate New York.

The book also contains an easy-reference index of species, plus hundreds of Rick‘s photographs and illustrations by his wife Jan.

Buy it now here for $25.00

Click on the book cover to view sample pages

 

Read my RECENT ESSAY "Mouse Olympics" by clicking on "Writing" at left.
----------------------------------------------------------View new photos of  "Trees Taken On My Back" by clicking "Bonus Content" at left.
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View my log of December NATURE SIGHTINGS by clicking "Diary" at left.
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Read about my newest slide program, "For The Love Of Wetlands" Just click on "Slide Shows" at left. 
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Some Of My Favorite Owl Photos
North America


Barn Owl
Also called Monkey-faced Owl, Church Owl and Belfry Owl. Often nests in abandoned buildings. Also will use nest boxes and natural cavities. Voice includes a variety of hair-raising screams and hisses. White facial discs funnel light and sound to eyes and ears. Declining.
 


This Barn Owl was living in, well, a barn near Owego NY. He entered and exited through an opening where silage was blown into the silo. Another in the "on my back" series of photos.


Great Gray Owl
Another owl we get to see rarely in winter when food supplies run out in Canadian breeding grounds. Also breeds in the Rockies, where I have seen perched in pines at a meadow's edge, Hunting, while horseback riding. As is the case with other owls that don't see people where they normally live, Great Grays are relatively tame. This is a huge owl, rivaling the Snowy as North America's biggest



Barred Owl
One of our most common owls. Found in mature forests. Call of "Who cooks for you all" can be easily imitated. Round-headed, no tufts. Often heard during the day, although mostly nocturnal. Photographed in Northeast PA. I squeaked like a mouse to get the sleepy owl to half-open its eyes.


Spotted Owl
Closely related to the Barred Owl. Inhabits Northwest and Southwest forests and is declining. Federal protection has brought protests by logging interests in that region. I photographed this roosting one after hiking two miles up a rocky canyon in SE Arizona




Boreal Owl
Breeds mostly in Canada but does filter down as far as Northern Mexico in the Rocky Mountains. Also found in Northern Europe, where I photographed this one at its nest cavity in Finland.



Short-eared Owl
Author Scott Weidensahl describes this bird as "Pale as the dead prairie grass or winter marsh grass over which it flies." Often seen near dusk, hunting low over grasslands. Its short ear tufts, visible on the upper owl here, are rarely visible. Photographed roosting against perfect camouflage in upstate New York.


Burrowing Owl
Breeds in western states and Florida. Hunts mostly at dawn and dusk. Semi-colonial. Inhabits abandoned prairie dog burrows. Decline in prairie dogs, plus habit loss due to development have caused this owl's decline to serious levels.



Great Horned Owl
No owl in North America is more adaptable than the Great Horned. You can find them from the highest mountains to the hottest deserts; from our local forests to city suburbs. December is mating season. Listen for the tell-tale series of deep hoots: "who-who-who...who-who." Truly America's quintessential hoot owl. The owl and fledgling below I photographed at a park in upstate New York. The second owl was sitting on a nest at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge on the South Carolina/Georgia border.






Hawk Owl
Nesting throughout northern Canada, this owl is not common anywhere within its vast range. When food supplies run short in winter, Hawk Owls sometimes fly south to the northern US. Seen in flight, with their quick wingbeats, they look more like kestrels (small falcons) than owls. They hunt during the day in open country, so when they do move south to our country, they are easy to see.



Long-eared Owl
Not only are these owls uncommon, but they are hard to find where they do exist. Roosting and nesting in dense forests, they are strictly nocturnal, hunting over meadows and wetlands after dark. Look to be declining in the East but holding steady in western states and Canada.



Northern Saw-whet Owl
Only 8 inches tall, this owl is a year-rounder where I live in upstate New York. Nocturnal and secretive, but if you do encounter one, the saw-whet is very tame. Call sounds like the sharpening of a saw blade.



Snowy Owl
When Snowy Owls drift south in winter - driven by a food shortage in Canada - they zero in on two treeless habitats that remind them of the tundra: landfills and sand dunes. I took the photo below at a landfill near my home in Vestal, NY. The second photo shows a Snowy staring down at me from a dune on Cape Cod, MA.




Photos by Rick Marsi
All rights reserved.