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Pearl-Spotted Owlet

Pearl-Spotted Owlet
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-10-06
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 15x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 125
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2011-05-23 10:30
Viewed: 5077
Points: 78
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Pearl-Spotted Owlet / Glaucidium perlatum

The Pearl-Spotted Owlet is number 43 in the series of the birds of the Kruger National Park which I am still sharing. Enjoy!

I was very pleased when I had the opportunity to photograph this lovely Owlet. It was sitting quite far away from were we where parked and I never thought that it would be recognizable on the photo and that the quality would be good enough to do a posting of it. I had to crop the image quite a bit to show the little owlet. Please keep it in mind what I mentioned about the distance, when you critique this image.

Pearl spotted owls are one of Southern Africa's smallest owls. They are 'earless' owls. It is characterised by two black patches with white rims on the back of the head, which appear as false eyes. This distinctive feature may help this diminutive owl to evade predators by making it appear larger than it actually is. Otherwise, the plumage is cinnamon-brown, with white spots on the upperparts, and white on the underside with broad brown streaks. The flight feathers are dark brown with light rufous bars, and the comparatively long, brown tail has incomplete white bars. The facial disk is whitish, while the bill and eyes are both yellow. The two sexes are very similar, but juveniles are identified by a less rufous plumage, with fewer white spots on the head and a shorter tail.

Its unique whistled call is often heard in thorn scrub forest where the species can be quite common. They move about alone or in pairs. The mock eyes at the back of their heads confuse other predators as to which way the owl is facing.

It is most abundant in dry, open woodland, but is also found in wooded savannah, and dense forest, avoiding moist forest and the most arid areas.

As Africa's most diurnal owl, the Pearl-Spotted Owlet can be observed hunting both during the day and at night. A generalist feeder, it will consume a variety of prey types, with lizards, rodents, insects and bats all targeted. Despite its relatively small size, powerful talons allow the pearl-spotted owlet to hunt prey much larger than itself. Whilst hunting, this tiny predator may be seen bobbing its head up and down and flicking its tail in excitement.

They breed between August and November, with breeding peaking between September and October. Pairs fiercely compete with other birds, such as woodpeckers and barbets, for holes in trees to make nests. Nests may be reused each season, and pairs will maintain territories, often by destroying the nesting sites of competitors. Between 2-4 eggs are laid, and the female will incubate the eggs for some 29 days, with offspring fledging after a further 31 days, and becoming fully independent 2 weeks later.

As a resident of arid open woodland, a habitat less impacted by human encroachment than others, they do not appear to be effected by traditional threats, such as deforestation and habitat degradation. However, populations in the western most areas of the species' range are believed to be less abundant, and may be less resistant to subtle changes to habitat or prey abundance. Source

I hope you enjoyed looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

maaciejka, Alex99, PeterZ, PaulLees, Silvio2006, joska, scroller, siggi, bungbing, uleko, Mamagolo2, tuslaw, maurydv, Pitoncle, samiran88, ramthakur, vanda, mvdisco, CeltickRanger, Argus, PeakXV has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To scroller: Owl at SataraMiss_Piggy 1 05-24 00:14
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Anna,
what a nice bird. Great point of view. Excellent sharpness and composition. Amazing colours.
Thanks for sharing,

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  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2011-05-23 10:44]

Hi Anna.
It is very nice that you have decided to shoot and post this little beauty. Pictured scene is simple and very attractive at the same time. Pose of the bird, eye-contact as well as coloration and other details are fine. It is clear its eyes are sweet. Thanks a lot and best regards.

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  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2011-05-23 10:50]

Hello Anna,
What a beauty, this owl! Taken in a fantastic compsoition, very good sharpness, details and very beautiful natural colours. Great eye contact. One of the most beautiful photos I ever saw of this bird.

A very beautiful photograph from a good point of view. Good lighting.

Hi Anna,

this one shows attitude, great capture, I think if it had a tongue like ours it would stick it out at you


Ciao Anna. Very good capture in low light but good colous results.


Besef jy dat jy 'n buitengewone gawe het? Meer kan ek nie eintlik sê nie. Ja, ek dink jy weet dit. Wonderlik wonderlik wonderlik Anna!

Hi Anna,

Lovely presentation of this Pearl-spotted Owlet, fabulous detailed sharpness with exceptional exposure control, splendid composition and very well done,
Congratulations Anna and have a lovely evening,
Best Regards,


hello Anna
very nice composition with good details and lovely colours
thanks greeting lou

Ciao Anna, great portrait of lovely owl, splendid sharpness, wonderful natural colors and fine details, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

No ... I will not fall in admiration for the sharpness or the level of detail here as some others did it superficially, when obviously the detail and sharpness is missing, but as you rightly mention Anna in your note the image was taken from a distance and later was cropped heavily. For me the image is not as bad ( technically )as we have seen in many cases in the past, and even I think it has a wonderful impact with the pose of the Pearl-Spotted Owlet and its striking eyes which absorb every movement around. Good!
George Veltchev

Hi friend Anna!
It is a pleasure to see your photos again!
You did a great work despite the uncomfortable white sky around!
You managed perfectly the backlight and have a bird very well seen!
Regards, TFS

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  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-05-23 15:31]

Hi Anna,fantastic pic of this little owl,it seems in pose just for you...ehehe...and an excellent camera settings for a beautiful result,the light wasn't the best but you work very very well.Thanks for share,have a nice day,Luciano

Wow, Anna, I love it! Owls are not easy to photograph but this is just perfect! Even over a distance the detail and colors are amazing!

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  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2011-05-23 19:56]

Hi Anna,
Very good photo of this Pearl-Spotted Owlet, TFS!

Hola Anna

Una bella composición de esta ave, resaltada por ese fondo gris. Una bella toma y perfecta nitidez.

Un saludo de Antonio

Hi Anna,
Is this the owl that are resident just at the entrance of the Satara restcamp reception? In that case I saw it in February. You of course know there is also another owl resident at Afsal...? Fantastic eyes and a great capture!
Best Regards

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  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-05-23 22:54]

Hello Anna.
The pose you captured of this Pearl-Spotted Owlet looks lovely.I like this very nice captured without disturbing things.Good sharpness,exposure and light.Nicely composed.
Best regards Siggi

Hello Anna,
Very nice captured of this Pearl-Spotted Owlet with lovely pose, great eye-contact, nice natural colours and very well exposure,
Thanks for sharing and have a nice day,
Best Regards,

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  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2011-05-24 0:22]

Hello Anna,
You have such colourful birds anyway this is similar to ours. Nice pose and good visible against clear BG.
Regards, Pawel

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  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2011-05-24 1:50]

Hello Anna,
A superb view of this cute Owlet in a lovely pose! Great focus on the big eyes and the beautiful plumage. Very well framed too!
Many thanks and best regards, Ulla

Hello Anna, another great shot for this little one. A very beautiful and a great catch. All the best, Paul

Hallo daar,
Wat 'n pragtige uiltjie en jy was regtig gelukkig om dit te sien en af te neem. Ja, ons twee se kamera's werk maar die beste. Ek sukkel met die nuwe Fuji wat m vir my gekoop het. Die uiltjie is kleurvol, pragtig en baie duidelik. Baie geluk my vriendin.

Hello Anna
Interesting species and beautiful photo with very good composition and wonderful colours.

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  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2011-05-24 18:22]

Hello Anna,
Owls always seem to have such beautifully marked plumages and your is no exception. I love the little white spots that remind me of tiny snowflakes. Another feature that they all exhibit are those awesome big eyes that seem to captivate your attention in an erie sort of way.
Love the composition and excellent detail you managed to capture at such a long distance. The clean BG works wonderfully for me, even though I know you are not fond of light colored ones. Great job Anna!!

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  • ana974 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 477 W: 48 N: 968] (4857)
  • [2011-05-25 12:48]

Dear Anna,
Lovely pic taken in a very difficult situation, but...we can see your art and sensibility in every lovely details.Great job, indeed! Thanks for sharing!
Best wishes!

PS: many thanks for visiting my gallery!

Buona Sera Anna, molto bella la tua foto, very nice subject and the same nice compo, good details and colors, lovely eyes, congratulations for the picture,
have a good time,

ciao, tino

Hallo Anna,
a superb capture of the Pearl-Spotted Owlet, i am fascinated by owls and this image is a credit to their beauty, a great intense eye contact, fine details on the plumage, excellent point of view and composition
Best regards

Bonjour Anna,
Très bonne mise en valeur du sujet sous une excellente profondeur de champ par l'appréciation de la finesse des détails et de la délicatesse des couleurs.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

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  • egres Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 44 W: 2 N: 144] (754)
  • [2011-05-26 9:09]

Hello Anna
That «Chevêchette perlée» is beautiful with the sharp spots of the plumage and a good eye contact. ood position ofthe bird and well balanced image.

Que casualidad, hoy fotografié yo un Athene noctua, que tiene muchos parecidos a este.

Buen encuadre y pose del ave, aunque esa lente te hizo perder bastante luz.

Un abrazo Anna: Josep Ignasi.

fantastic capture of this owl. very sharp and good natural colour.

The distance has no impact on the quality of this picture, Anna.
The Owlet looks great and its intense eyes are well captured with your compact camera.
Thanks for your kind words on my latest post. It is so devilishly hot here there is nothing to shoot, so I keep on digging into my old files.
How's Loot doing? Say hi to him from me.

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  • vanda Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 338 W: 25 N: 754] (3673)
  • [2011-05-27 6:10]

Hi Anna!
Excellent portrait of Owl, captured in nice pose..it is looking at the photographer :))
As usual, the image is pefectly clear and the details of the bird (plumage, eyes, ect..) are superb.
Very well composed.
Congratulations Anna.
Ciao! Vanda

Hello Anna,
Cute little fellow. Difficult to spot these birds. Well done.

Hi Anna,
Nice capture of this lovely bird,
Excellent pose and point of view,
good sharpness and details,
very well done.

Hello Anna

Excellent close-up photo of the Pearl-Spotted Owlet,
fine frontal POV and « en contre-plongé » that i love,
excellent focus sharpness and details, beautiful eye-contact,



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  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2011-06-25 7:11]

Hello Anna,
Sorry to have missed this delightful capture of the Pearl-spotted Owlet.
The POV is superb, especially with its head turned to give a fine eye contact. This together with the excellent sharpness and colours against a clear sky contribute to a top class portrait of this species,
Thank you and enjoy the rest of the weekend,

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  • PeakXV Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 121 W: 0 N: 544] (3135)
  • [2011-06-30 20:06]

Hi Anna,

Superb capture of this adorable owlet. The brown plumage contrasts well with the robin's egg blue backdrop. And of course it's all in the eyes as they say - those yellow peepers really steal the show! Pefect focus & choice POV. A very pleasing image in every way.

Kind regards,


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