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Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl
Photo Information
Copyright: Pekka Valo (pekkavalo1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 423 W: 54 N: 2120] (6789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-12-07
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, Canon EF 400mm f4.0 DO IS USM, RAW ISO 640, Canon EF 2x Extender II
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/400 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-12-08 0:31
Viewed: 3544
Points: 46
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A Short-eared Owl resting after fighting with another Owl for the hunting ground. The bird looks fluffier than normally as a result of having to show off. After few minutes it was back to the normal lean himself. The picture was taken at Capel Fleet in the Isle of Sheppey.

From Birdguides:

Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus)

In: Short-eared Owl Ca: Mussol emigrant Da: Mosehornugle De: Sumpfohreule Es: Bho campestre Fi: suopll Fr: Hibou des marais It: Gufo di palude Nl: Velduil No: Jordugle Pt: Coruja-do-nabal Sv: Jorduggla US: Short-eared Owl Ru: Болотная сова

Unlike the other owls, the Short-eared habitually hunts by day. However, it isn't safe to assume that a day-flying owl, even over moorland, is sure to be a Short-eared. To eliminate the possibility of it being a Long-eared you must look for either: a pale belly contrasting with a streaked head and chest, a white trailing edge to the wing, neater, more distinct barring on the uppertail, upperwing and under the wing tip and the yellow, rather than orange, eyes. Also, the colour of a Short-eared Owl varies from under-cooked biscuit-brown to overcooked biscuit-brown and never shows the warm rufous tones of a Long-eared. At rest, the ear tufts are hard to see but the yellow eyes are distinctively encircled by black.

Breeds on boggy moorland, upland pasture, young conifer plantations and marshes. Winters in open moorland, grassland and marshes.

The soft hooting song is usually given from a great height above the breeding site and is often the prelude to a spectacular display in which he claps his wings several times below his body. This causes him to lose height but he quickly corrects this and carries out another burst of wing-clapping, thus following an erratic path across the sky. Between wing-claps the male will fly with exaggerated slow wingbeats in which the wings are held almost vertically above the body before each downward beat. Breeding success is dependant on the availability voles, in any year. In a good year, the female will be well fed and so will have enough resources to produce more eggs than usual, sometimes even 10 or more. These are laid at one day intervals and therefore hatch out in such a way that the youngest may be a week or more younger than the oldest. This means that in the squabble for food, the young chicks only get fed when the older ones are full so if the food supply deteriorates, the youngest ones will die without limiting the chances of success of the older ones. Indeed, the parents may feed the remains of the dead chicks to their surviving siblings so that no resources are wasted.

Resident but, to some extent, nomadic in southern Europe. Northern populations from Scandinavia and Russia are migratory.

jconceicao, uleko, siggi, Argus, Adanac, SelenE, jaycee, nglen, Dis. Ac., CeltickRanger, sandpiper2, eqshannon, jpdenk has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Pekka,

Fantastic capture.
Nice colours with excellent details.
Light,focus and sharpness are good.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-12-08 2:24]

Hej Pekka,
I'm amazed at how many fine birds you're finding in Britain!! This is a lovely capture with the Owl sharply in focus. Great details and fine colours in this beautiful composition.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-12-08 2:54]

Hello Pekka,
Excellant shot. Like the contast between the eyes, feathers and Blurred green BG.
Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-12-08 3:08]

Hello Pekka,
Lovely shot of a Short-eared Owl taken from a fine POV on a fence with excellent lighting and sharpness against a pleasing contrasting natural OOF green BG.
TFS this delight,
Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2008-12-08 3:09]

Hello Pekka,
Interesting owl in good light only is too far and details of birds are few visible.
Regards, Pawel

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-12-08 5:38]

Hello Pekka,
What a great composition Pekka, and as mentioned shows the common defensive trait of fluffing up to look larger. Splendid lighting and eye contact in this wonderful image. Thank you for sharing Pekka.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-12-08 8:00]

Hi Pekka,
Pose and expression you caught, frontal POV, light, background, colors and composition look very nice. TFS
Best wishes,

Hi Pekka
A fine shot with good light and details. I like the pose of the bird - side on but with the head facing the camera. Nice blurred background too.
Kind Regards

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-12-08 10:06]

Hi Pekka,

He's wonderful!!! A marvelous shot of this Owl looking at you with those wide yellow eyes. Excellent details and colors of the face, wings and plummage. He looks adorable perched on the post in a lovely setting. Wonderful composition.


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-12-08 10:09]

Hi Pekka. A cute little owl . It seems to have its eye on you. Good detail and rich colours in the feathers. A good POV/DOF. well done TFS. Interesting notes too.

Siempre son de admirar las capturas de estas aves ( yo an no he conseguido ninguna ). Bonito conjunto y encuadre.
Un saludo: Josep Ignasi.

Hi Pekka,

nice eye contact with these Owl.
Good of sharpness and composition.
Nice pov with beautiful colours.


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-12-08 11:46]

Hello Pekka,
This Short-eared Owl sits in splendid warm light. The contrasting colours against the green OOF BG are marvelous. Very good composition. Great sharpness and pose.

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-12-08 12:22]

You seem to be a magnet for birds! You have such a varied gallery, it's very impressive. This is a great shot, the eye contact is mesmerising. Well composed witha perfect DOF, well done as always.

Ciao Pekka, beautiful owl in great pose, wonderful colors, good details and excellent sharpness, I like a lot, ciao Silvio

hello Pekka

this is a classic image, a bird of prey on a contry road fence,
shot with very fine POV and framing, excellent luminosity
and density of the colours, excellent sharpness
and details, i love the eye-contact with you, TFS


  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2008-12-08 18:40]

Hello Pekka,
Very nice capture, the colors and the composition
are excellent.. Well done


  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-12-08 23:20]

Hi Pekka

Great shot of this owl. I have never seen one - although they are supposed to quite 'common' round here. This is an excellent shot, well composed and captured.


Hi Pekka

Great capture, i really like the pose and the white favial disk stands out great.
Good composition, sharpness and POV.


  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-12-09 13:52]

Hi Pekka,
a very good shot!!
The golden light is superb!
Excellent composition.
Really, really sharp!

Very well done,

As they say in politics ..."The Ayes Have it..."..Now just replace spelling with "eyes" and that is what makes this photo..It is almost as if it jumps out to tell me something. Who says a persona cannot pass along empotion though the ether (unproven of course)

Pekka, this is an awesome shot of this owl. You have some exceptional work. Thanks for commenting on my cormorants. Have a great weekend. Bill

Hi Pekka,

A fine composition and excellent light. These birds are a favorite of mine to watch, we have this species in North America too, and they often spend their winters around where I live, especially in years when we have a large vole population, hunting in the open fields in late afternoon just before sundown.


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