OWL & PREY by Sandy Stewart

A Barred Owl perches in a large Maple Tree to consume its prey.

This Owl has been hanging around in one of my friend’s yards and was first noticed hanging off of one of her bird aviaries. The owl appears smaller than other Barred Owls I have seen and it is my thought that this one is likely a fledgling from this year. Once a fledgling grows in its adult plumage you can’t tell the difference between them and an adult.

Barred owls are often out at night, dawn or dusk, but can be seen during the day. When hunting, they usually perch in a tree and watch and listen for prey. Once they spot the prey, they swoop down and grab it with their talons. Their toes are special, as two face forward and two go back. This helps the Barred Owl get a good grip on its prey. If they prefer, they can turn a back toe forward. This likely helps them while perched on a tree. Barred owls (like all owls) are carnivores (meat-eaters). They hunt squirrels, mice, rats, foxes, rabbits, bats, small birds, other owls, snakes, lizards, fish, fiddler crabs, and bugs. Since they eat the whole animal (except for the wings of birds), they swallow a lot of fur and bones they can’t digest. Owls will regurgitate (re-gir-ji-tate) or vomit pellets of fur and bones. If you find a pile of little furry balls under a tree, you have found an owl’s perch tree or eating spot. If you pick the pellet apart, you can see the tiny bones and fur of the animals it has eaten. Barred owls tend to perch on trees which have small branches and moss to hide and camouflage them. In flight they flap their wings rather than soaring like a vulture. This is because they have special soft feathers. Soft feathers are quiet, which helps the owl to sneak up on their prey animals. Soft feathers are not very good at catching the wind, so they have to work hard to fly. The owl is a good hunter, but he can’t rest and soar.


Photo taken on Nov 1/09 at 1:42 pm in the Duncan area ( South east Vancouver Island) B.C., Canada.
Taken in raw, adobe RGB and aperture priority.
Camera; Canon 40D
Lens; Canon EF-100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM lens.
Tripod; Manfrotto and joystick head.
Taken at 1/100’sec, f/5.6, 400mm, man col bal 6100 kelvin, iso 800.
Histogram adjustment and sharpening using layers. No cropping.

All Products

nature, birds, wildlife, owls, barred owls


  • JaneCronin
    JaneCroninover 5 years ago

    an amazing shot, looks like he’s looking forward to dinner

  • Yes, though I have to admit it was just a little unnerving to watch. Many kind thanks for your kind compliment Jane! : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • lloydsjourney
    lloydsjourneyover 5 years ago

    Awesome shot.

  • Thank you so much lloyd! : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • Vickie Emms
    Vickie Emmsover 5 years ago

    wonderful photo op Sandy,,,,,,,,

  • Yes, certainly not something one gets to see every day! Many kind thanks Vickie! : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • Béla Török
    Béla Törökover 5 years ago

    Great capture, dear Sandy!

  • Thank you so much Bela! : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • Judy Grant
    Judy Grantover 5 years ago

    OOO SANDY This is so awesome !!! Just Beautiful ! :)

  • Thank you so very much Judy! I am sure many will think otherwise when they notice the poor little critter, but it is really no different than us eating beef ect. We just go to the super market to purchase our meats nicely packaged. lol : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • Robert Abraham
    Robert Abrahamover 5 years ago

    Wow that’s a stunning capture, you get so many terrific shots of birds that’s really beyond me Sandy

  • Awe,….thank you so much Hawker! I’m still dreaming of capturing more birds under wing. One day I might be at the right spot at the right time and have the lighting ect to make it possible. lol : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • lorilee
    lorileeover 5 years ago

    A fabulous capture!!!!!!

  • Thank you so much Lorilee! : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • Barry Norton
    Barry Nortonover 5 years ago

    Simply wonderful capture Sandy

  • Thank you so very much Barry! : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • TomBaumker
    TomBaumkerover 5 years ago

    Beautiful capture & great action…Hugs….Tom

  • Thank you so very much Tom! : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • Beve Brown-Clark
    Beve Brown-Clarkover 5 years ago

    OOOO Sandy this is an awesome capture…I am so in awe of this wonderful image!! OOoooOOOO he is so adorable…wonderful find!

  • Awe,…..thank you so much Beve Brown-Clark! : )

    – Sandy Stewart

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10%off for joining

the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.