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"on the nest"

Photo Information
Copyright: omer sozer (eng55) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-04-04
Categories: Birds
Camera: CANON 1Ds Mark III, Canon EF 800mm f5.6L IS USM
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/125 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Goldys' Personal Favorites, Bayram's Favourites-III [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-09-27 3:17
Viewed: 4319
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 80
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Thank you for your critiques and kind words on my previous post.This was a famale indivdual who has two chicks.Please look at the figures in the nest,they are
completely natural.
This photo was taken from the car window.
Have a great week,and thanks for looking..

Tawny Owl
Infos from Wikipedia..
Tawny Owl

Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidas
Genus: Strix
Species: S. aluco
Binomial name
Strix aluco
Linnaeus, 1758

The Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) is a stocky, medium-sized owl commonly found in woodlands across much of Eurasia. Its underparts are pale with dark streaks, and the upperparts are either brown or grey. Several of the eleven recognised subspecies have both variants. The nest is typically in a tree hole where it can protect its eggs and young against potential predators. This owl is non-migratory and highly territorial. Many young birds starve if they cannot find a vacant territory once parental care ceases.

This nocturnal bird of prey hunts mainly rodents, usually by dropping from a perch to seize its prey, which it swallows whole; in more urban areas its diet includes a higher proportion of birds. Vision and hearing adaptations and silent flight aid its night hunting. The Tawny is capable of catching smaller owls, but is itself vulnerable to the Eagle Owl or Northern Goshawk. Red Foxes are an important cause of mortality in newly fledged young.

Although many people believe this owl has exceptional night vision, its retina is no more sensitive than a human's. Rather, it is its asymmetrically placed ears that are key to its hunting because they give the Tawny Owl excellent directional hearing. Its nocturnal habits and eerie, easily imitated call, have led to a mythical association of the Tawny with bad luck and death.

1 Description
1.1 Geographical variation
2 Taxonomy
3 Distribution and habitat
4 Behaviour
4.1 Breeding
4.2 Feeding
The Tawny Owl is a robust bird, 37–43 cm (14.5–17 in) in length, with an 81–96 cm (32–38 in) wingspan. Its large rounded head lacks ear tufts, and the facial disc surrounding the dark brown eyes is usually rather plain. The nominate race has two morphs which differ in their plumage colour, one form having rufous brown upperparts and the other greyish brown, although intermediates also occur. The underparts of both morphs are whitish and streaked with brown.This species is sexually dimorphic; the female is much larger than the male, 5% longer and more than 25% heavier.
The Tawny Owl flies with long glides on rounded wings, less undulating and with fewer wingbeats than other Eurasian owls, and typically at a greater height.The flight of the Tawny Owl is rather heavy and slow, particularly at its first entering on the wing. As with most owls, its flight is silent because of its feathers' soft, furry upper surfaces and a fringe on the leading edge of the outer primaries.Its size, dumpy shape and broad wings distinguish it from other owls found within its range; Great Grey, Eagle and Ural Owls are similar in shape, but much larger.

An owl's eyes are placed at the front of the head and have a field overlap of 50–70%, giving it better binocular vision than diurnal birds of prey (overlap 30–50%).The Tawny Owl's retina has about 56,000 light-sensitive rod cells per square millimetre (36 million per square inch); although earlier claims that it could see in the infrared part of the spectrum have been dismissed,it is still often said to have eyesight 10 to 100 times better than humans in low-light conditions. However, the experimental basis for this claim is probably inaccurate by at least a factor of 10.The owl's actual visual acuity is only slightly greater than that of man, and any increased sensitivity is due to optical factors rather than to greater retinal sensitivity; both humans and owl have reached the limit of resolution for the retinas of terrestrial vertebrates.
Field of view compared with a pigeonAdaptations to night vision include the large size of the eye, its tubular shape, large numbers of closely packed retinal rods, and an absence of cone cells, since rod cells have superior light sensitivity. There are few coloured oil drops, which would reduce the light intensity.Unlike diurnal birds of prey, owls normally have only one fovea, and that is poorly developed except in daytime hunters like the Short-eared Owl.
Hearing is important for a nocturnal bird of prey, and as with other owls, the Tawny's two ear openings differ in structure and are asymmetrically placed to improve directional hearing. A passage through the skull links the eardrums, and small differences in the time of arrival of a sound at each ear enables its source to be pinpointed. The left ear opening is higher on the head than the larger right ear and tilts downward, improving sensitivity to sounds from below.Both ear openings are hidden under the facial disk feathers, which are structurally specialized to be transparent to sound, and are supported by a movable fold of skin (the pre-aural flap).
An owl's retina has a single fovea.The internal structure of the ear, which has large numbers of auditory neurons, gives an improved ability to detect low-frequency sounds at a distance, which could include rustling made by prey moving in vegetation. The Tawny Owl's hearing is ten times better than a human's,and it can hunt using this sense alone in the dark of a woodland on an overcast night, but the patter of raindrops makes it difficult to detect faint sounds, and prolonged wet weather can lead to starvation if the owl cannot hunt effectively.
The commonly heard contact call is a shrill, kew-wick but the male has a quavering advertising song hoo...ho, ho, hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo. William Shakespeare used this owl's song in Love's Labour's Lost (Act 5, Scene 2) as "Then nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-whit; Tu-who, a merry note, While greasy Joan doth keel the pot", but this stereotypical call is actually a duet, with the female making the kew-wick sound, and the male responding hooo.[2] The call is easily imitated by blowing into cupped hands through slightly parted thumbs, and a study in Cambridgeshire found that this mimicry produced a response from the owl within 30 minutes in 94% of trials.A male’s response to a broadcast song appears to be indicative of his health and vigour; owls with higher blood parasite loads use fewer high frequencies and a more limited range of frequencies in their responses to an apparent intruder.

Geographical variation
Although both colour morphs occur in much of the European range, brown birds predominate in the more humid climate of western Europe, with the grey phase becoming more common further east; in the northernmost regions, all the owls are a cold-grey colour. Siberian and Central Asian subspecies have grey and white plumage, the North African race is dark grey-brown, and South and East Asian birds have barred, not striped, underparts, and fine lines around the facial disc. The Siberian and Scandinavian subspecies are 12% larger and 40% heavier, and have 13% longer wings than western European birds,in accordance with Bergmann's rule which predicts that northern forms will typically be bigger than their southern counterparts.

The plumage colour is genetically controlled, and studies in Finland and Italy indicate that grey-morph Tawny Owls have more reproductive success, better immune resistance, and fewer parasites than brown birds. Although this might suggest that eventually the brown morph could disappear, the owls show no colour preference when choosing a mate, so the adverse selection pressure is reduced. There are also environmental factors involved. The Italian study showed that brown-morph birds were found in denser woodland, and in Finland, Gloger's rule would suggest that paler birds would in any case predominate in the colder climate.

An individual probably of the western subspecies S. a. sylvaticaThe species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 under its current scientific name.The binomial derives from Greek strix "owl" and Italian allocco, "Tawny Owl" (from Latin ulucus "screech-owl").

The Tawny Owl is a member of the wood-owl genus Strix, part of the typical owl family Strigidae, which contains all species of owl other than the barn owls. Within its genus, the Tawny's closest relatives are Hume's Owl, Strix butleri, (formerly considered to be conspecific), its larger northern neighbour, the Ural Owl, S. uralensis, and the North American Barred Owl, S. varia.The Early–Middle Pleistocene Strix intermedia is sometimes considered a paleosubspecies of the Tawny Owl, which would make it that species' immediate ancestor.
The Tawny Owl subspecies are often poorly differentiated, and may be at a flexible stage of subspecies formation with features related to the ambient temperature, the colour tone of the local habitat, and the size of available prey. Consequently, various authors have described between 10 and 15 subspecies.

Distribution and habitat
Ancient deciduous woodland is a favoured habitat.The Tawny Owl has a distribution stretching discontinuously across temperate Eurasia from Great Britain and the Iberian Peninsula eastwards to Korea, and south to Iran and the Himalayas. The subspecies S. a. mauritanica extends the range into northwest Africa. This essentially non-migratory owl is absent from Ireland, and only a rare vagrant to the Balearic and Canary Islands.
This species is found in deciduous and mixed forests, and sometimes mature conifer plantations, preferring locations with access to water. Cemeteries, gardens and parks have allowed it to spread into urban areas, including central London. The Tawny Owl is mainly a lowland bird in the colder parts of its range, but breeds to 550 metres (1,800 ft) in Scotland, 1,600 m (5,250 ft) in the Alps, 2,350 m (7,700 ft) in Turkey,and up to 2,800 m (9,180 ft) in Burma.

The Tawny Owl has a geographical range of at least 10 million km² (3.8 million mi²) and a large population including an estimated 970,000–2,000,000 individuals in Europe alone. Population trends have not been quantified, but there is evidence of an overall increase. This owl is not believed to meet the IUCN Red List criterion of declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations and is therefore evaluated as .This species has expanded its range in Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Ukraine, and populations are stable or increasing in most European countries. Declines have occurred in Finland, Estonia, Italy and Albania.

The young leave the nest before fledging.
A recently fledged youngster.Tawny Owls pair off from the age of one year, and stay together in a usually monogamous relationship for life. An established pair's territory is defended year-round and maintained with little, if any, boundary change from year to year. The pair sit in cover on a branch close to a tree trunk during the day, and usually roost separately from July to October.Roosting owls may be discovered and "mobbed" by small birds during the day, but they normally ignore the disturbance.

The Tawny Owl typically nests in a hole in a tree, but will also use old European Magpie nests, squirrel dreys or holes in buildings, and readily takes to nest boxes. It nests from February onwards in the south of its range, but rarely before mid-March in Scandinavia. The glossy white eggs are 48 x 39 mm (1.89 x 1.54 in) in size and weigh 39.0 g (1.4 oz) of which 7% is shell. The typical clutch of two or three eggs is incubated by the female alone for 30 days to hatching, and the altricial, downy chicks fledge in a further 35–39 days.[3] The young usually leave the nest up to ten days before fledging, and hide on nearby branches.

This species is fearless in defence of its nest and young, and, like other Strix owls, strikes for the intruder's head with its sharp talons. Because its flight is silent, it may not be detected until it is too late to avoid the danger. Dogs, cats and humans may be assaulted, sometimes without provocation. Perhaps the best-known victim of the Tawny Owl's fierce attack was the renowned bird photographer Eric Hosking, who lost an eye when struck by a bird he was attempting to photograph near its nest. He later called his autobiography An Eye for a Bird.

The parents care for young birds for two or three months after they fledge, but from August to November the juveniles disperse to find a territory of their own to occupy. If they fail to find a vacant territory, they usually starve.The juvenile survival rate is unknown, but the annual survival rate for adults is 76.8%. The typical lifespan is five years,[3] but an age of over 18 years has been recorded for a wild Tawny Owl, and of over 27 years for a captive bird.

Predators of the Tawny Owl include large birds such as Ural and Eagle Owls, Northern Goshawks and Common Buzzards. Pine Martens may raid nests, especially where artificial nest boxes make the owls easy to find, and several instances have been recorded of Eurasian Jackdaws building nests on top of a brooding female Tawny Owl leading to the death of the adult and chicks.A Danish study showed that predation by mammals, especially Red Foxes, was an important cause of mortality in newly fledged young, with 36% dying between fledging and independence. The mortality risk increased with fledging date from 14% in April to more than 58% in June, and increasing predation of late broods may be an important selective agent for early breeding in this species.

The Bank Vole is a common prey.The Tawny Owl hunts almost entirely at night, watching from a perch before dropping or gliding silently down to its victim, but very occasionally it will hunt in daylight when it has young to feed. This species takes a wide range of prey, mainly woodland rodents, but also other mammals up to the size of a young rabbit, and birds, earthworms and beetles. In urban areas, birds make up a larger proportion of the diet, and species as unlikely as Mallard and Kittiwake have been killed and eaten.
Prey is typically swallowed whole, with indigestible parts regurgitated as pellets. These are medium-sized and grey, consisting mainly of rodent fur and often with bones protruding, and are found in groups under trees used for roosting or nesting.
Less powerful woodland owls such as the Little Owl and the Long-eared Owl cannot usually co-exist with the stronger Tawny, which may take them as food items, and are found in different habitats. Similarly, where the Tawny Owl has moved into built-up areas, it tends to displace Barn Owls from their traditional nesting sites in buildings.

boreocypriensis, haraprasan, cypturk, ramthakur, goldyrs, anemone, xTauruSx, Silvio2006, CatherineD, Miss_Piggy, siggi, cirano, yasemin, tuslaw, maurydv, bahadir, Dis. Ac., Alex99, meyerd, rousettus, KOMSIS, eqshannon, caspian, oscarromulus, Adanac, jusninasirun, Hormon_Manyer, peter_stoeckl has marked this note useful
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To zenitlady: Thanks:)eng55 1 09-29 10:30
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Critiques [Translate]

Wowww... süper dostum:) baygın baygın bakmış sana:)
Alan derinliği muhteşem. Kusursuz bir çalışma.
Emeklerine sağlık. Favori kotam dolu ama favori temema atıyorum bu güzeli.
Ellerine ve emeğine sağlık.
Bu arada Keten kuşu TRAKUS'da var. Hatta sen de yorum yazmışsın:)
Sende ben gibi yaşlanıyorsun:))
İyi bir hafta dileklerimle dostum.


Hi Omer,
A lovely capture of this beautiful Tawny owl. Very well composed shot with very good sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2010-09-27 3:30]

Hello Omer
Wonderful capture of this night bird. I like colors and details

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-09-27 3:44]

Merhaba Ömer,
A superb capture of a red variety of a Tawny Owl taken with nioce sharpness and colours at its nesting hole. The composition and POV are excellent.
Tesekkürler dostum,

Ömer bey. cok sirin:) cok guzel. Nefis. Bakislar harika.
Ellerinize saglik. Hem dayimin hemde kendi yerime favorilere ben alayim:) Iyi gunler, selamlar.

800mm must be a huge barrel of a lens, Omer. Must be needing a tripod.
It is a classic shot of a Tawny Owl standing at the entrance to its 'residence' in the shape of a hole in the tree.
The image is almost three-dimensional -- a feat that only Omer can perform.
Thanks for sharing this ultimate picture in nature photography.

Ciao Omer. Superb capture in good detaisl and sharp with excellente light's managment. Exciting colours results.


Super stunning, if I may, Omer!
The BG is so beautiful and the owl herself, looks so cute and she is very well detailed!
Simply awesome!

Ömer bey muhteşem ötesi güzellikte. Tam yuva girişinde, ağaç kovuğumu? nefis kompozisyon. Sanki 3 boyutlu gibi. Ellerinize sağlık. Selamlar.

Ömer bey nutkum tutuldu bu güzellik karşısında. Baykuşlar insan gibi öne bakan gözleriyle bana en sevimli gelen kuşlardır. Ama bu çok özel:) Bakışları mükemmel. Öpesi geliyor insanın:)
Ellerinize ve emeğinize sağlık.

hello Omer
Wauwh a 3D picture !
super sharpness and beautiful colours
very good pose with nice light
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-09-27 8:23]

Hello Omer,
Wow, photographed with a 800 mm lens. Can you carry that lens? But the result is amazing. What a beautiful photo. The colours are splendid and the sharpness excellent. Fantastic composition and DOF.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2010-09-27 8:24]

Hi Omer,you was lucky to meet this beauty on your road.What a pic and what a impressive quality! Top sharpness,focus and colors and a wonderfull composition too!Thanks for share,have a nice week,Luciano.

Ciao Omer, great portrait of lovely in the nest, fine details, splendid natural colors and excellent sharpness, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

Merhaba Ömer bey,
Very impressive shot in a great natural pose. Amazing details and colours. Not easy to see with this great camouflage. Selamlar,

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-09-27 12:14]

Hello Omer,
Great this picture! Very good composition and light is perfect. It give us each details on the bird. And these eyes.Wow! Lovely picture.
Best regards Siggi

Hallo Omer
This is gorgeous, everything is just gorgeous. The colour, the detail, the setting, the mood, the background, just everything. I cannot say more than: "Remarkable photography, from a great photographer" It is really more than praiseworthy. And to add to all of that I must compliment you on a great note! Thanks for sharing. Best regards.

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2010-09-27 13:02]

Yuva ağzında çok güzel yakalamışsınız.Renkleri,netliği ve özellikle kadraj yerleşimi ile oldukça güzel bir kare olmuş.Elinize emeğinize sağlık.

Omer bey muhtesem bakislar ve poz:) cok sevimli..
Ellerinize saglik.. LOndra dan selamlar..

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2010-09-27 20:29]

Hello Omer,
Outstanding image of this beautiful Owl. The plumage is simply gorgeous and the detail is incredible. Love the facial expression and wonderful eye contact. Awesome photo!! Great notes.

Merhaba Omer,
a superb portrait of the Tawny Owl taken from an excellent POV in a great pose on its nest, very good sharpness and fine detail, fantastic warm colours in a very pleasing composition
Best regards

Tus fotografías marcan diferencias Omer !!
Es de admirar tu habilidad no solamente con la técnica, sino tambien
en tus recreaciones con las diferentes escenas que plasmas.
Excepcinal trabajo.

Un abrazo: Josep Ignasi.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2010-09-28 5:06]

Hello Omer,
This is really an incredible shot..I was looking at the picture and believed that the heads inside the tree were out of wood, it just looks like that. What a perfect camouflage!
Beautiful light on Mother Owl which you show with perfect sharpness in a well composed decentred shot. As usual very well done.
Kind regards

Ömer bey az kalsın kaçırıyordum bu güzelliği. Bayram hocam uyarınca farkettim yorum yazmadığımı. Muhteşem olmuş.
Emeklerinize sağlık.

Hi Omer,

very good shot from this Owl.
Exellent sharpness and details.
Nice framing and i like all the brown colourtones.


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2010-09-28 11:10]

Hi Omer.
Now I see what 800 mm lens can do. Amazing intimate shot from owl life. Framing is brilliant also as well as warm colour and nice details. Thanks a lot and best wishes.

  • Great 
  • meyerd Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
  • [2010-09-28 11:10]

Hi Omer,
you're back again on TN, thank you. Your shots are exceptional and this owl follows in line. So interesting how it looks at you!

Best regards

Hola omer

Una bonita imagen con colores naturales estupendos, buen contraste con el fondo y buena nitidez.

Un saludo de Antonio

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-09-29 1:22]

Hello Omer,
beautiful capture in an excellent natural colour. The sharpness of the feathers is superb. You have kept the surrounding well too.
Excellent view.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-09-29 9:22]

Hello Omer,
A brilliant close view of this beautiful Owl! Great focus on the eyes and I love the brown colours and fine details of its plumage. Well done!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hello Omer! The rich brown tones of the owl's feathers are complimented perfectly by the sunlit reflection in the nest hole. Amazing clarity, and great POV! Those images in the background, are they the baby owls or just part of the tree? Wonderful capture, amazing from your car window! Thank you! Linda

merhaba Ömer Bey
TRAKUŞtan hatırlıyorum, bu zarif kuşu ve sonra ortadan kayboluşunu. harikulade bir çekim. tebrikler. göz temasından keskin detaylarına, pozlamasından renklere ve kovuk içindeki yansıması gibi duran oluşumlarına kdar çok çok güzel bir fotoğraf. elinize sağlık. iyi geceler, selamlar.

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2010-09-30 6:02]

Ömer bey selamlar,
Ağaç kovuğunda ...
Gözler gece çok çalışmış, şişmiş ..!
Alaca Baykuş, kompozisyon ve detayları ile mükemmel güzellikte.
Emeklerinize sağlık,

Notes read like a book and very much a lesson plan here. Great uses of light...the backdrop couldn't be better. Lighting is professional quality...great image and good gear choice.

Merhaba Ömer bey,

Özellikle kamuflaj oluşturabilecek ağaç kovukları arasında görülmesi çok zor nadide bir türü harika görüntülemişsiniz.
yeni uykudan kalkmış, uyanamamış gibi bir hali var :) Ama sizi yine de fark etmiş.
Güzel bir zamanlama ve güzel bir çekim. Notlar da süper olmuş.
Elinize sağlık.

Selam ve saygılarımla,

PERFECT camouflage.... had you not photografted them... even the babies are so well hidden away.
Superb and detailed image.
Loved your notes too.
Mario from Canada with greetings.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2010-10-08 16:46]

Hello Omer,
What rich coloured plumage this tiny owl has. Superb camera work with outstanding results, give us this pleasant image to view. Very well done Omer, thank you.

This shot is wonderful Omer. The perch is so good guarding the nest in majestic fashion. Image is flawless and the tone is just so pleasing. Well done and thanks for sharing. Regards - Jusni

Hello Ömer again,
Not only a masterful image with excellent sharpness, compo, pose and DoF, but also a lesson about perfect camouflage. The 3D effect is beyond words. Absolutely superb job. Bravo.
Friendly regards, László

Dear Ömer,
brilliantly clear, perfectly well framed image of the Tawny Owl in front of its hole. Delightfully rich warm hues. Perfect camouflage very well shown here, too. That region of reduced contrast at the upper right corner touching the owl's forehead, apparently caused by some interfering close object in between as it may always happen in the field, in particular when operating from a car window (my congratulations), may possibly be cured in postwork to make the image 110% perfect.
Thank you for your outstanding contributions like this one, and your always encouraging critiques. Happy New Year to you!
With best regards,

Calibration Check