Canon 20D + 500 mm lens
1/320 sec f8 ISO 400
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Selected as Artwork of the Day on February 14th 2012 in The World As We See It, or as we missed it Group
This photograph of a Barred Owl was taken in the wild, I accidentally flushed it whilst walking along a trail through a forested area at McGregor Marsh, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.
It flew from the ground up into a tree where it sat and watched me for several minutes.
My 500mm lens was already mounted on my tripod as I was out looking for woodland birds to photograph. However I was far too close to the Owl to get a full body shot and was unable to back up very much as the undergrowth behind me was too dense. Nevertheless I was more than satisfied with the few close-up shots I was able to take before it flew off. In this one you can actually see a tree just to my right reflecting in the owl’s left eye (or right eye as you look at the photograph!)
The Barred Owl (Strix varia) is a large typical owl. It is also known as an eight hooter, rain owl, wood owl, and striped owl, but is probably known best as the hoot owl.The adult is 44 cm long with a 112 cm wingspan. It has a pale face with dark rings around the eyes, a yellow beak and dark brown eyes. It’s chest is barred horizontally whilst the belly is streaked lengthwise.
Its diet consists mainly of various species of mice but it also feeds on small mammals such as rodents and also birds such as grouse, hawks, and doves. It will occasionally wade into water to capture fish or terrapins.