You know, I just aimed at the owl and hoped for the best. I use single point focusing just about all of the time and that's what was set for this shot. I was worried the owl would fly away. In fact, he did fly further in the woods when I got out of the car and walked closer to him. I'm sure the branches did interfere with me getting a precise focus.
Henry, I never tried Face/ESP focusing. Do you think that it might have worked for this shot? I was always under the impression that it was intended for human faces.
I'm going to return to the same area this week and see if the owl is hanging around there. I'll be more prepared and see if I can get a better shot.