Now that's a huge surprise. Is it mage stabilized, by any chance? I'd have thought a great macro, for sure. This clearly shows that one doesn't have to break the bank to get great pictures. So what led you to this lens?
The lens is not stabilized, but the camera (K-5) has a sensor shift stabilization which works quite well. The Tamron 70-200/2,8 can in fact be used as a macro to some extend as the minimal focusing distance makes approx. 1:3 possible on the long end.
Currently there are no new 70-200/2,8 lenses available from Pentax, so the only solution is currently third-party. The Tamron is the least expensive one and was the best lens in this range in terms of image quality available new for a while. It is also the smallest and lightest lens in this focal range (well, light is relative here). This might have changed in terms of image quality with the last Sigma lens competing. The old Pentax FA* 80-200/2,8, however, is still better than any new equivalent lens for P/K.
These are really nice pictures. And as u can see pictures can tell a thousand words. But in your photo 'caress' it might look like the owl doesn't mind being touched. In fact the owl does not like it, as from my experience as a falconer owls don't like being touched on their back as they can't see! It seems as if the handler is touching the bird harder than is needed.
Do you know what kind of owls these are? Yours are really good photographs! Here's a link to some of my birds.
Thanks - I believe we have a Long-eared Owl and a Barn Owl here.
Concerning the caress - I did not have the impression when taking the photo (there are more of this moment, but this offers the best view) that the caress was totally unwelcome. It appears to me that both know each other quite well. The touch was intended as caress, so I would say that the title fits.