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owl with prey

owl with prey
Photo Information
Copyright: jaap polak (carper) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-02-05
Categories: Birds
Camera: Fujifilm Finepix S7000
Exposure: f/3.1, 1/380 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): my best 25 photos [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-02-24 12:08
Viewed: 5983
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 70
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Great Horned Owl is the largest owl in North America. It is sometimes called the cat owl. This widespread bird of prey lives in mountains, grasslands, conifer forests, deserts, chapparals, and many other habitats in North and South America. Its scientific name is Bubo virginianus (Genus and species). Its call is a far-carrying hoot.
Anatomy: This owl is 18 to 25 inches (46-64 cm) long and has a wing span of 52 to 55 inches (1.3-1.4 m); its weight averages about 3 pounds (1.5 kg). The feathers of the Horned Owl are gray to brown to buff to black. There is a patch of white feathers on the brown chest (called a "gular"). The eyes are yellow with round black pupils. Large tufts of feathers on its head give this owl its name; they are neither ears nor horns, they are just feathers.

Diet: Owls are carnivores (meat-eaters). The Great Horned Owl is mostly nocturnal (most active at night). Owls use a keen sense of sight to find prey in the dark (they see mostly in black and white). They also have an acute sense of hearing which helps in finding meals. Owls are stealth hunters; they can easily sneak up on their prey since their fluffy feathers give them almost silent flight. The Great Horned Owl hunts and eats mammals (like rabbits, skunks, woodchucks, mice, rats, and squirrels), birds (ducks, quail, and geese), and fish. The owl is at the top of the food web; it has no major predators. It sometimes eats its prey whole and later regurgitates the bones, fur, and feathers in pellets.

Nest and Eggs: Great Horned Owls usually use abandoned hawk or heron nests. In each clutch (a set of eggs laid at one time), females lay 2-3 white eggs. The eggs take 28-30 days to hatch; both parents incubate the eggs.

I have made this shot in Antwerpen Zoo. this one was also taken between the bars. And I musy say I think I have a good photo here. It is only a shame he just turn his head a little, but even, I like the shot. I hope you enjoy it too

JeanMichel, cafecrem, thiagobr, hummingbird24, marhowie, willie, Fisher, ellis49, Callie, sAner, Lesley, mogens-j, red45, coasties, dew77, jhm, Luc, gerhardt, nardophoto, Miss_Piggy has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

This is a fine shot Jaap.. Nice details of its feathers and great orange eyes. No it's not a shame that he turned his head, I very much like the POV sideways but not a profile, it's different from what we so often see here on TN and we can still see both eyes.

I hope they feed this owl with dead prey and not a living one...

Funny just head and tail of the mouse are visible. It looks like a person hiding something under a dress, stating... no, no, there's nothing here :-). Very good situation shot. It's always possible to have animals talking just by their attitude and our imagination. You catched it very well here, i like it, Jaap!

Great picture.
I love owls very much and yours is wonderful - I like fluffy birds :-)))))
Wonderful eyes - I would like to cuddle!

Linda Parabéns!! Coitado do ratinho ali no pé dela hahaha!

  • Great 
  • NINIX Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 158 W: 47 N: 355] (3001)
  • [2005-02-24 12:52]

Ha Jaap,

Mooie uil met een staartje. Deze zit duidelijk iets uit te broeden.
Goed commentaar ook, (vooral kikikiki!)



That you were able to capture the entire owl is wonderful, the bonus is his soon to be dinner, beneath the "robes". What an astonishing creature he is! Great composition and detail in this shot. Thank you for a brilliant photo, Jaap.

Jaap, A most unique shot..This owl looks like he's in no hurry to have this hapless mouse for a snack! Must have it by the tail? Very good details especially the eyes & face..Great interest factor also..Well done!!

  • Great 
  • willie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1023 W: 61 N: 648] (2083)
  • [2005-02-24 13:27]

Magical Jaap. Excellent image of the owl. I really like the pose and the prey being inconspiculously hiiden away as if it's saying, " Hey I caught it and I ain't giving it up". Very nicely done. 10 out of 10

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2005-02-24 13:28]

Excelent shot, Jaap. Now I know what they look like, I'll be on the lookout for them, they are seen on Manitoulin Island.
A beautiful owl and great pose. Well done on this composition.


A very good picture Jaap.
I like the POV, good details, colours and composition.
Very well done.

  • Great 
  • Callie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 95 N: 2610] (7555)
  • [2005-02-24 13:40]
  • [2]

Jaap my vriend!
These owls are truely beautiful, large and fierce, and you managed to capture this here. I just love the mouse peeping out below his skirt! TFS
It looks like a faerytale picture.

  • Great 
  • Graal Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 751 W: 31 N: 20] (5100)
  • [2005-02-24 13:48]

Hi Jaap!
Very nice picture, beautiful colours, contrast and sharpness. Interesting note. Very good job.

  • Great 
  • IdoTT Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 210 W: 19 N: 86] (482)
  • [2005-02-24 15:05]

Great pic Jaap!!!
The owl is very sharp and clear!
The pry is dead, and the colors of the picture are great too! TFS!


  • Great 
  • Lesley Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 297 W: 13 N: 913] (2988)
  • [2005-02-24 15:38]

I am not a fan of captive shots, but I have taken a few myself at a rehab center. I think what makes this photo work for me aside from the perfect techs of this image is the mouse/rat.... it has the most comical look on it's face and it conjures all sorts of witty phrases to mind... very clever and well timed image, Jaap. I think I would have titled this " Hoo Me?" because the owl looks like he is trying to look innocent of any crimes while the rat is giving him away! :0)

I can see he is keeping his lunch warm by sitting on it;-). Nice capture Jaap - great colours and dof with plenty of dcetails. I would prefer another pov but you cannot always get it the way you like so you will have to satisfie sometimes.

This is a great catch double meaning...
Poor little mouse...

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-02-25 4:08]

Superb capture Jaap! Owl looks very proud of its prey. And it had to be very long mouse I think ;-) Beautiful, amber eyes.

Awesome capture Jaap. Excellent plumage detail, sharpness and the subject in one of my favourites. Good work. TFS

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-02-25 6:32]

Wonderful capture Jaap! Dit is weer prachtig. Het verenkleed is haarscherp, de kleuren zijn perfect, de DOF en POV ook en de ogen zijn intrigerend! Jammer, dat het linkeroog niet helemaal zichtbaar is. De muis die met staart en kop onder de uil uitkomt is fantastisch!!

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-02-25 9:25]

Perfect composition!Poor mause...
Sharpness,POV,DOF and composition excellent...TFS

Great shot, but poor mouse.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-02-25 13:46]

Jaap, a very beautiful bird in very nice photo. You captured a great moment. The owl doesn't seem to care about anything; the prey seems to be facing the camera.

A great job.

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2005-02-26 2:45]

Beste Jaap,
Uw uitstap in de Zoo heeft schitterende beelden opgeleverd waar ik zeker niet aan twijfelde toen ik wist dat u een bezoek zou brengen in Antwerpen. Buiten de zeer mooi Uil is de rat meer dan een mooi detail, zelden zal men dat op deze manier kunnen fotograferen.
Proficiat Jaap, laat ze maar komen wij zitten er op te wachten.

Very good zoo shot, until I read the note I thought you had got this in the wild. It certainly look very natural, which is not always easy to do in the zoo. Well done. I'm glad they feed them whole rats.

Aaahhh, but a nice composition with this prey ! A sharp shot and also a "funny" pose of the owl, Jaap, nice pic !

Nice action captured Jaap. Hierdie vogel sit sy prooi dood? :) Impressive textures, eyes and action caught here. Very well done.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-03-01 0:49]

I am late...
The owl is like a Madonna on a snake.
Thanks Jaap for this great post.

  • Great 
  • Toni Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 403 W: 2 N: 316] (2034)
  • [2005-03-11 17:44]

You've done very well to capture this shot. The mouse took me by surprise. Just perfect.

  • Great 
  • optic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 322 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2005-03-16 18:46]

Wow ! amazing photo the owl with prey, my prefered bird Jaap, i love it. Great colours & sharpness the owl has very nice plumage,

Congratulations !

His feathers are beautiful, so fluffy looking. His eyes are a lovely color too, I kind of like that they're not looking directly at the camera. Very nice photo.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2005-05-14 10:16]

Gorgeous owl, Jaap. Perfect on all levels. Congratulations. : )

The details of feathers are magnificent and these big eyes add a determining colour in your photo. It is the buffet which git in its feet? I like the angle of the head, it is very well taken, to my opinion. Good shot!

This is a good shot! Les détails des plumes sont superbes et ces grands yeux ajoutent une couleur déterminante dans votre photo. C'est son lunch qui git à ses pieds? J'aime bien l'angle de la tête, c'est très bien pris, à mon avis.

An excellent photo. I like the fact that he's sitiing on his prey and also that he mostly blends in with the background except for the eyes, which are beautifully sharp.
Good work.

  • Great 
  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2006-03-22 16:34]

Hi Jaap,
Excellent capture of this beautiful owl!
Very good sharpness and incredible detail,
great colour and well composed.
Thanks for sharing!

Hallo Jaap
A lovely photograph of this Great Horned Owl. I think if I ever get the opportunity to photograph a bird as beautiful as this, I’ll be so fascinated by their beauty, I might forget to push the button to snap it at the right time. Just looking at this photo I am so astounded by the wonderful detail of its eyes, its plumage, the fine feathers on the front of its face and the gorgeous and dainty looking ears. This is an excellent close up. An excellent portrait, well presented. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed looking at it.
Kind regards

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