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Snowy Portrait

Snowy Portrait
Photo Information
Copyright: Selen Ediger (SelenE) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-08-31
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L IS USM
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Animal Portraits II, Great Portraits Part Two [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-09-07 0:23
Viewed: 5690
Points: 66
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
! * Bird under captivity. Image taken in Prague Zoo

Snowy Owl
Bubo scandiacus

The Snowy Owl is a large owl of the typical owl family Strigidae. It is also known in North America as the Arctic Owl or the Great White Owl. Until recently, it was regarded as the sole member of a distinct genus, as Nyctea scandiaca, but mtDNA cytochrome b sequence data (Olsen et al. 2002) shows that it is very closely related to the horned owls in the genus Bubo.

This yellow-eyed white bird is easily recognizeable. It is 53-65 cm (20-26 inches) long with a 125-150 cm (50-60 in) wingspan. The adult male is virtually pure white, but females and young birds have some dark scalloping; the young are heavily barred, and dark spotting may even predominate. Its thick plumage, heavily-feathered feet, and coloration render the Snowy Owl well-adapted for life north of the Arctic Circle.

Snowy Owl calls are varied, but the alarm call is a barking, almost quacking krek-krek-krek-krek; the female also has a softer mewling pyee-pyee-pyee-pyee or prek-prek-prek. The song is a deep repeated gawh. They may also clap their beak in response to threats or annoyances. While called clapping, it is believed this sound may actually be a clicking of the tongue, not the bill.

The Snowy Owl is typically found in the northern circumpolar region, where it makes its summer home north of latitude 60 degrees north. However, it is a particularly nomadic bird, and because population fluctuations in its prey species can force it to relocate, it has been known to breed at more southerly latitudes. During the last ice age, there was an Central European paleosubspecies of this bird, Bubo scandiacus gallicus, but subspecies are not recognized among the living population.

This species of owl nests on the ground, building a scrape on top of a mound or boulder. A site with good visibility, ready access to hunting areas, and a lack of snow is chosen. Gravel bars and abandoned eagle nests may be used. Breeding occurs in May, and depending on the amount of prey available, clutch sizes range from 5 to 14 eggs, which are laid singly, approximately every other day over the course of several days. Hatching takes place approximately five weeks after laying, and the pure white young are cared for by both parents.

Snowy Owls winter south through Canada and northernmost Eurasia, with irruptions occurring further south in some years. They have been reported as far south as Texas, Georgia, the American Gulf states, southern Russia, northern China and even the Caribbean. Between 1967 and 1975, Snowy Owls bred on the remote island of Fetlar in the Shetland Isles north of Scotland, UK. Females summered as recently as 1993, but their status in the British Isles is now that of a rare winter visitor to Shetland, the Outer Hebrides and the Cairngorms.
Source: Wikipedia

egeerhan, John_F_Kennedy, cataclysta, gracious, red45, pankajbajpai, martic, Kathleen, fartash, wuta, marhowie, rcrick, darwin, zeca, tzeybek, jmirah has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To claudine: thxSelenE 1 09-09 05:37
To red45: LodzSelenE 1 09-09 05:22
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Critiques [Translate]

Awesome close-up. All the detail is clear and sharp. Well presented.
Best wishes,

Netlik ,detay,arka fon,açıklamalar ve harika bir bakış ile mükemmel bir fotograf. eline sağlık Selen

Hi Selene
first of all I like the fantastic contrast. I have an impression that I am looking not on the photo but on the living owl. Perfect sharpness good composition and very good OOF homogenous buckground
Best wishes

Selam Selen,
excellent close-up of this beautiful Owl!
perfect sharpness, clarity, natural colour and details always from you
very well composed and well seen

Beautiful capture of this Snowy Owl Selen.
The pose is excellent and sharpness and DOF are very good.
In general you've handled the whites ok although it looks just a little overexposed above the eyes.
Sometimes just taking the blue down a notch can make all the difference I've found.
A very comprehensive note as well makes thios a great post.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2007-09-07 1:19]
  • [+]

Hi Selen!

One of most fascinating birds in superb portrait. Lovely, BIG, amber eyes, immaculate white feathers and black BG - everything made perfect composition. I love it!

BTW - Prague? Really close! Come to Lodz :-)

Hola Selen,
Precioso retrato, buena nitidez y textura, excelente ilumminación, buen contraste con el fondo, saludos
José Ramón

hello selen,
what a fine portrait shot, the dark bg suits the shot well, you have managed exposure well here, the eyes look beautiful, good details of the plumage too,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-09-07 2:56]

Hi Selen,
a striking shot of this Owl.
Sharp and crisp.
Excellent black BG.
Well done,

They are impressive birds Selen that I didn't have the chance to see yet in real but I know that we have many of them in my country... This is a great portrait with intense eye contact, good composition, details and exposure. This dark green background makes him stands out so well. Is it your first zoo shot? Thanks,

Hello Selen,

Wonderfull shot of this snowly owl, Great details and colors, very well composed wiht the black BG
Thank you

Hi Selene.
Stunning image, the eyes in the top third of the frame grab the attention straight away, excellent. Wonderful portrait


Hello Selen
Very intersting shot of this Snowy Owl,
Great focusing,lighting and BG,Welldone,friend.


Merhaba Selen,
An execellent portrait!
I like so much your close approach and the clear details got on this owl.
It's so good the contrast made by the stunning yellow eyes and the white feathers.
I like also the framing made and the dark background used, that stands out so well the subject.
Well done and thanks for share it.
My best regards,

YES! Hi Selen,

Amazing shot, very pure and sharp shot. I really love this pic, great photo. Very well done. tfs. Stev

Hi Selene,
Nice portrait of this beautiful owl.
Good focus detail and POV,
Agree the white over eyes looks a bit oe but you did very well as a whole.
The soft white feathers like fur are not easy to get much detail.

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2007-09-07 10:13]

Hello Selene , This shot is very good and so complete well taken shot ,good in pov and very fine details ,very good job , Greetings Teunie .

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-09-07 11:26]

Hello Selen,
The intens eye-contact with these Owls is always amazing. Beautiful sharp photo with remarkable composition. Very good DOF and BG. Maybe a bit overexposure above the eyes.

Hi Selen,
A very detailed and sharp portrait; very well managed the exposure in white zones. Nice job

Hi Selen.
It is nice to see the clean focus and the extreme details of the eyes.
I cannot wait until this winter and spring to see more of these birds in the environment here.
Seeing them flying and sitting with others is amazing.
Even though this is a zoo, they are beautiful birds to photograph.
Be safe!

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-09-08 8:39]

HelloSelen, very impressive portrait ! Nice dark background, very sharp image and very good exposure. Well done !


Hello Selen,

This is my favorite bird and this close-up is very successful.
Nothing to reproach.

Thanks for sharing


Hi Selen, Just stunning, the detail in the whites of the Owl and in the eyes are spot on, really nice work :)

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-09-09 1:40]

Hi Selen,
Outstanding portrait shot of this Snowy Owl with amazing exposure on its white plumage and sharp details. I like its gorgeous yellow eyes and the intense look in them. Great DOF lets the image stand out well from the darkish BG and I like your POV to portray it. Very nicely composed. Kudos.

Beautiful image Selen, very nice exposure and sharp details..
Speaking of very nice, Great smile on that profile page too ;)
I think the close eye contact does it for me here :)
Excellent work!

Hej Selena!!!
Có¿ tu powiedzieæ?.
Przepiêkne wszystkie fotki, autorstwa Piêknej Kobiety.
Jestem pod wielkim wra¿eniem.

Bonjour Selen
Très belle prise magnifiquement maitrisé, gestion de l'exposition, contraste et netteté. Très beau sujet. Bravo
Amicalement Robi

Hi Selen,
A real stunner. The bright eyes and its catchlight makes the look a bit scary. As if he can look right through me. Love the wonderful details in it coat. The dark BG really helped to bring out the beauty of the bird.

Stunning portrait Selene! superb contrast.the clarity in the image is simply awesome,specialy the sharpness in the eyes tfs jon

  • Great 
  • zeca Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 373 W: 14 N: 539] (2887)
  • [2007-09-12 7:01]

Well Selen, this is my favorite bird. Your capture shows very nice details and the contrast to the black background is perfect! Well taken!

Excellent shot! The eyes of the owl make the photo a special one.

  • Great 
  • jmirah Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 509 W: 5 N: 1141] (4687)
  • [2007-10-04 19:54]

Hi Selen,
A really beautiful bird. Excellent exposure and POV. Very well done.


Hello Selen,
Now there is a cute little fellow!
That stare he gives is priceless... The plumage is very well exposed, the white parts are nicely reproduced!
Pablo -

:-) OK-

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