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Meeting eye to eye

Meeting eye to eye
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-10-11
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC HX1, Sony G lens 20x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 160
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Masterpieces with Bridge or Compact cameras, Very well documented! [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2011-11-16 3:03
Viewed: 4746
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 72
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Cape Eagle Owl / Budo capensis

During our October holiday to the Cape Province, we did not only travel through the countryside but also visited parks, zoos and other interesting places. The World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary and Monkey Park in Hout Bay was one such place of interest where we spent a morning with the birds and some other animals. This beautiful, big eyed Cape Eagle Owl being one of them. Owl's eyes always have such magnetism to it and this one's was no exception. I stood right in front of this lovely bird of prey inside its cage when I took this photo, and therefore I can say we met eye to eye.

Distribution and habitat
It has an extremely fragmented range, with populations in Ethiopia, Kenya and southern Africa; there are no places where you can see it easily within southern Africa. It is scarce in southern Namibia, Zimbabwe, western Mozambique, Lesotho and South Africa, from Limpopo Province south to Kwazulu-Natal and west to the Northern and Western Cape. It is restricted to mountainous areas with cliffs, outcrops and gorges, and can live as high as 2500m above sea level. Habitat preferences vary from region to region, favouring mesic fynbos in the Western Cape, miombo woodland in Zimbabwe, grassland and bushveld in Gauteng and Mpumalanga, and semi-desert scrub in Namibia.

Mainly eats mammals, supplemented with birds, reptiles and invertebrates. It hunts at night, searching for prey on low perches. Once prey has been located, it swoops silently down, grabbing the prey with its strong talons. Amazingly, it is capable of carrying prey weighing 4.5kg, four times its body weight of 1.0-1.2kg.

The following species have been recorded in its diet: Rock hyrax, yellow-spotted rock hyrax, rabbits and hares, klipspringer, common duiker, cane rats, free-tailed bats, other owls, francolins, spurfowl and pheasants, domestic chickens, pigeons and doves, falcons, kestrels, cape teal, mottled swift, hamerkop, helmeted guineafowl, southern bald ibis chicks, blue korhaan, red-winged starling, cape robin-chat, small lizards, beetles, grasshoppers, crabs and scorpions.

Nests in a scrape in the ground, often on ledges, hidden by trees or rocks, in cliff recesses or regularly near streams or rivers. The female often lies in the scrape for days before laying her eggs. It sometimes uses the same nest site repeatedly, but not in consecutive years.

Egg-laying season is from May-July in eastern South Africa and Zimbabwe, from August-September in the Eastern Cape and from June-August in the Western Cape. It lays 1-3 eggs, which are incubated mainly by the female for about 34-38 days. The male spends most of his time providing her with food, although he may incubate occasionally so that the female can hunt.

Once the chicks are born the male still does most of the hunting, but the female always feeds the prey to the brood. The chicks leave the nest at about 45 days old, but still remain in the vicinity of the nest, where they are still fed by both their parents. They become fully independent 2-3 months after fledging.

Not threatened, but potentially impacted by overgrazing and fires. Source

I hope you enjoyed looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

PaulLees, buscape, drchoneydew, vanda, maaciejka, jlinaresp, Jakkals, pegos, anel, Pitoncle, uleko, Argus, corjan3, goutham_ramesh, tuslaw, soccer, CeltickRanger, ckuh55 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2011-11-16 3:09]

Hello Anna,
What a great photo. This slanting head looks gorgeous. Excellent sharpness, details and very beautiful colours. Good DOF and composition.

great eyes, nice picture Anna !

congrats !

have a good day,

ciao, tino

Hi Anna, Wow what a very interesting image and how much detail you have captured here especially in the eyes, superb exposure/white balance control, wonderful colour tones, great effort here Anna and very well done,
Best Regards,


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-11-16 4:39]

Hi Anna,spectacular close-up,the eyes seems made in amber,impossible to make better,great sharpness,details,lights....all is perfect!!Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano

Hello Anna,
fantastic close up shot of this owl with great sharpness and beautiful details. I especially like the big eyes with beautifully orange colours.
Best wishes,

Hello Anna,

Awesome image this is! Superb closeup and eye to eye contact! Amazing sharpness


Wow Anna! magnificent pleasant portrait.


WOW talk about UP CLOSE AND BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! adore this and my favorite today!

Anna - fantastic capture. amazing POV. excellent sharpness. tfs

  • Great 
  • vanda Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 338 W: 25 N: 754] (3673)
  • [2011-11-16 8:47]

Hi Anna!
What an impressive close-up! It seems to me that the owl is placed on my desktop....the eyes and the beak, with the light reflected, are fantastic! Excellent details of the plumage.
Very well done: congratulations.
Ciao! Vanda

Hi Anna,
Great portrait of this Bubo capensis,Cape Eagle Owl, fantastic sharp details and colorful details! By us it is one similar species, Bubo bubo, also so nice.
Regards, Joska

Hi Anna,
amazing photo of this owl. Amazing colours of the eyes. Perfect composition. Nice sharpness and details.
Thanks for sharing,

Hello Anna,
Impossible ask for more eloquence! ... What a portrait! ... Congratulations!

Hello Anna,
Magnificent eye contact and detail with excellent sharp plumage detail. Just beautiful!!
Best regards,
I have been to "The World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary and Monkey Park" in Hout bay twice, absolutely fantastic!!!!
Hope you paid a visit to "Fish on the rocks" for the best hake and calamari in the world?

  • Great 
  • pegos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 222 W: 0 N: 356] (1982)
  • [2011-11-16 11:28]

Fantastic image, Anna!!
great visual impact, fantastic sharpness and fine detail, splendid contact eyes! Very well done!
Thanks for sharing

hello Anna
YES this is super!!
i like the colours of the eyes look on barnstoon
great sharpness and super details
thanks greeting lou

Hello Anna,
I like the frontal view of it and excellent eye contact. Natural colours and sharp details are a bonus. Well done!

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2011-11-17 1:47]

Hi Anna,
Realy excellent portrait and perfect the eye's contact.
Very useful and informative notes.
Regards Jiri.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2011-11-17 4:09]

Hello Anna,
Love the sweet way to look of this Eagle Owl. Really amazing thes big eyes which you show so well with this shot. Interesting portrait, indeed.
Thanks and kind regards

  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2011-11-17 7:44]

Bonjour Anna, quelle superbe portrait de chouette!! le regard est fascinant et attendrissant à la fois. Great sharpness and beautiful colors too. Best regards, Didier;

Bonjour Anna,
C'est splendide et remarquable par la finesse des détails !!!
La lumière, particulièrement bien maîtrisée, permet d'apprécier la délicatesse des couleurs, mais le plus remarquable est certainement la restitution de ce magnifique et attendrissant regard.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Hello Anna,
Outstanding portrait with fantastic focus and sharpness.
You take the image from a perfect POV.
Amazing details and perfect exposure as usual.
Wonderful natural colors and nice composition.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2011-11-17 12:08]

Hello Anna,
This portrait is really gorgeous - I love the tilted head and those clear big eyes looking straight at you. Wonderful sharp details too and natural colours. Very well done, Anna!
TFS and best regards, Ulla

hello Anna!
wonderful portrait, the colors, a great photo performance!
regards Nasos

Hello Anna,
Excellent look, amazing eyes, perfect exposure of the head of an eagle owl.

Great portrait Anna! The composition and the framing are excellent. The lighting and the colours are fantastic. The sharpness is impressive.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2011-11-19 8:09]

Hello Anna,
A superb pin-sharp portrait of the Cape Eagle Owl. The tilted head was taken from a fine POV with great natural colours in a composition that is perfect. The eyes have it!
Thanks and best regards,

Hello Anna,
What a fabulous portrait of this little owl. The part of your note on their breeding habits is especially interesting. Interesting, in view of their ground-breeding, that they are not (yet) threatened. An excellent contribution all round. Congratulations and best wishes.

Lovely expressive eyes Anna. I liked the look on the bird and as usual your notes are very extensive and informative. The good old buddy Loot is going to love this :-)
Goutham R

Anna: ¿Qué decir? Hace un tiempo ya que no interactuaba en TrekNature y al volver a escribir la dirección www.treknature.com lo hice pensando en vos, en Mis Piggy, en Anna. Más allá de esta maravillosa fotografía de este "Buho Águila del Cabo" (in spanish...) en la que sus ojos dialogan con la fotógrafa casi íntimamente, mucho más allá, deseo hablar de vos, de la inmensa fotógrafa de la vida salvaje africana que es Anna Eksteen. Es tan amplia tu voracidad temática que realmente lográs transmitir, a través de tu obra, el complejo, colorido y hermoso mosaico de la naturaleza africana. ¡THANK YOU, ANNA! Gracias Ana...
Desde Argentina, yours, Hernán.

Anna, This is a beautiful shot of this owl. It has great sharpness and detail. You did a great job capturing it. Thanks for your comment on my Axis Deer. Have a great day, Bill

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2011-11-23 18:46]

Hello Anna,
How can one resist the eyes of an Owl, such as this fine specimines. Lovely facial features and gorgeous colors in it's feathers. Love the close crop, as it gives us a fantastic view, showing the true beauty of this particular bird. Top quality image by all standards.

What a fantastically sharp and colorful picture of this owl! I am one those "owl fanatics" (who has never had a chance to photograph one yet!!) and this must rank with one of the best!

  • Great 
  • soccer Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 587 W: 0 N: 655] (2557)
  • [2011-12-06 23:35]


I like the tight composition, lending itself to a very detailed pic of the owl.
The sharpness, lighting, detail and composition are all great.

Hello Anna

Beautiful glance and eye-contact of this Owl,
photo shot with excellent focus sharpness details,



One word
AMAZING Tks for the comments on my Yosemite picture. Happy New Year from New York City.

The details in the eyes are perfect. They look like my persian cat's eyes... I've liked it. TFS

so beautiful, you captured the two eyes well.

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