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"Got any mice?"

Photo Information
Copyright: Joe Kellard (joey) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-09-23
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon Powershot S3 IS, Kenko 58mm UV filter
Exposure: f/3.5, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-09-27 1:52
Viewed: 3033
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I am not sure what species of Owl this is so here's some genaral info on Owls.

Owls are a group of birds of prey. Most are solitary and nocturnal, with some exceptions (e.g. the Burrowing Owl). They are classified in the order Strigiformes, in which there are over 200 extant species. Owls mostly hunt small mammals, insects, and other birds, though a few species specialize in hunting fish. They are found in all regions of the Earth except Antarctica, most of Greenland, and some remote islands. Though owls are typically solitary, the literary collective noun for a group of owls is a parliament.

The living owls are divided into two families: the typical owls, Strigidae, and the barn-owls, Tytonidae.

Owls have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak, and usually a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disc. Although owls have binocular vision, their large eyes are fixed in their sockets, as with other birds, and they must turn their entire head to change views.

Owls are far-sighted, and are unable to clearly see anything within a few inches of their eyes. Their far vision, particularly in low light, is exceptionally good, and they can turn their head 135 degrees in either direction; they can thus look behind their own shoulders. It is not correct, however, that they can turn the head so far as to face completely backwards.

Different species of owls make different sounds; the wide range of calls aids owl species in finding mates or announcing their presence to potential competitors, and ornithologists and birders in locating these birds and recognizing species. The facial disc helps to funnel the sound of prey to their ears. In many species, these are placed asymmetrically, for better directional location (Norberg, 1977).

Most owls are nocturnal, actively hunting for prey only under cover of darkness. Several types of owl, however, are crepuscular, or active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk; one example is the pygmy owl (Glaucidium). A few owls are also active during the day; examples are the Burrowing Owl (Speotyto cunicularia) and the Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus).

Much of the owl's hunting strategy depends on stealth and surprise. Owls have at least two adaptations that aid them in achieving stealth. First, the dull coloration of an owl's feathers can render them almost invisible under certain conditions. Secondly, the owl's remiges, or flight feathers, have fluffy trailing edges, muffling the owl's wingbeats and allowing its flight to be practically silent. Some fish-eating owls, where this silence is of no evolutionary advantage, lack this adaptation. Elf owls also lack the feathers for silent flying.

Once prey has been captured, the owl's sharp beak and powerful talons, or clawed feet allow it to tear the food to pieces before eating, even though most items are swallowed whole. Scientists studying the diets of owls are helped by their habit of regurgitating the indigestible parts of their prey (bones, scales, fur, etc.) in the form of pellets. These "owl pellets" are often sold by companies to schools to be dissected by students as a lesson in biology and ecology, because they are plentiful and easy to interpret.

Owl eggs are usually white and almost spherical, and range in number from a few to a dozen, depending on species. The eggs are laid in intervals of 1-3 days and do not hatch at the same time. This accounts for the wide variation in the size of sibling nestlings. Owls do not constuct nests but rather look for a sheltered nesting site, be it in trees, underground burrows, or in buildings, barns and caves.

The smallest owl is the Elf Owl (Micrathene whitneyi), at as little as 31 g (1.1 oz) and 13.5 cm (5.3 inches). Some of the pygmy owls are scarcely larger. The largest owls are the two of the eagle owls, the Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) and Blakiston's Fish Owl (Bubo blakistoni), which may reach a size of 76.2 cm (30 in) long, have a wingspan of just over 2 m (6.6 ft), and weigh of nearly 4.5 kg (10 lb).

Thankyou for your comments

Jamesp, pierrefonds, eqshannon, fartash, haraprasan, jcoowanitwong, nglen, Silke, jaycee, angybone has marked this note useful
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To hester: Zoojoey 1 09-29 14:16
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2007-09-27 2:53]

Hi Joe

Nice shot - and again I really like the lighting here. Good detail in the head and good colour too!

There are about 4 species of owl common where I live - a few years ago I was watching 'Twin Peaks' and at the crucial moment, as someone was about to be murdered and owl sitting outside on the top of our chimney, hooted - I nearly had a heart attack!! (Owls were very prominent in the series).


Hi Joe,

A good POV of the head of the owl, the photo has a good composition, sharpness and nice colors. thanks for sharing.


Aha...you have captured the beggar in his eyes...Very nice mood shot. He looks as if you will not feed him he will cry. A cute little creature. Profoundly humbled he is composed. Nice Joey...Very nice.

Hello Joe
Very nice portrait of this Owl,
Perfect details,use of flash and BG,Welldone.

Good Luck

Hi Joe,
Beautiful close up on this owl. Sharp with nice colors. Skillful use of flash. POV and composition are great. TFS,

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-09-27 13:10]

Hi Joe. Great close up of the little Owl. you have captured the eyes so well.good rich colours and fine detail showing the feathers so well too. TFS. very intersting notes.

  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 729 W: 98 N: 1707] (5458)
  • [2007-09-27 14:21]

Those enormous liquid eyes are quite striking!
Superb eye contact, excellent colours and details

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-09-27 15:45]

Hi Joe,

What a face! You captured this wide-eyed one beautifully. Wonderful colors and details. Excellent against the dark background.


Great shot of this Owl Joe.
Did you find this one in the wild?
You've managed to get a good close shot of it anyway.
Good work.

hello joe,
another fine portait, nice capture, i can see the twinkle in the eyes, liked the tight composition,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-09-28 1:38]

Hi Joe,
Wonderful close-up shot of this Owl with fabulous eye contact. Very sharp image and nice colour tones. Spot-on focus and amzing details captured. Excellent POV and very nicely composed. Kudos.

Hi Joe,
A beautiful portrait of this owl. Sorry I am not an expert in identifying owls. Someone will probably ID it. Very fine details and well places in the frame. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2007-09-28 3:57]

Joey, Excellent eye blownup macro shot. Lovely details. Ganesh

My what big eyes you have!!
Lovely reflection in the eyes...great closeup - wonderful lighting. Great shot!

  • Great 
  • Sayre Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 44 W: 2 N: 30] (164)
  • [2007-09-28 19:12]

I'm not sure what type of species it is either. It looks very similar to the Tawny owl, but these colors are much more defined than the Tawny's are. This is a great shot though. I really like the composition, and the way that the flash ended up with well proportioned light marks on both eyes, that way it doesn't take away anything from the image. Great job!
TFS Steph

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-09-29 12:24]
  • [+]

Hi Joe

Where did you find this owl? He is lovely. Great POV, nice sharp details and I love the eye contact.



Hi Joe,
beautiful portrait of this owl,

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-10-01 3:17]

Hi Joe,
Nice portrait :o)
Best wishes,

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