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Lady Luck's gift

Lady Luck's gift
Photo Information
Copyright: Japie Venter (japie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-12-19
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Sigma 170-500mm APO, Digital ISO 200, Skylight
Exposure: f/14.0, 1/125 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Predaceous birds - Aves predadoras, Birds of Southern Africa, 50 points or more - 50 puntos o más, Owls all over the world, 50-60 points chapter 3 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-01-25 15:18
Viewed: 6470
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Well, I was lucky enough to get this Giant Eagle Owl in the trees at our campsite in the Pilaansberg Nature Reserve. I usually have bad luck in capturing owl at night, but Lady Luck smiled at me here.

More about the Giant Eagle Owl


The Giant Eagle Owl is the largest owl in the world. As the biggest of all the Owls the Eagle owl is easily recognized by its huge size and wingspan. They are light grey in color, finely bared blackish above and below but no heavy blotching. The face is pale, boldly outlined in black, eyes look black at a distance they have distinctive pink eyelids. Very similar to a huge Long Eared owl. The Eagle Owl is a pale sand color underneath with streaks of dark Brown or grey. Greyish head with a large powerful beak and large orange or yellow eyes and two ear tufts extending from over the eyes. They have huge powerful feet and talons.


They will breed from the months of March to September, two eggs are usually laid and both parents incubate for up to 39 days.


It feeds largely on game birds such as Guinea fowl and small mammals like scrub hares are a favorite. They are usually seen at dawn or dusk and asides from their large size are easily recognized by their pink upper eyelids. They have a very varied diet recorded killing mammals the size of Vervet Monkeys and birds like Secretary birds, but they feed mainly on hedgehogs when available.


They are usually found alone or in pairs and mainly from Kwazulu-Natal Northwards. They will be found living in tree lining drainage lines and watercourses. Their call is a deep gruff hooting call hryu hryu hooo. They rarely hunt by day and roosts in larger trees, preferably in the shade.


Woodland, savanna and tree lined watercourses.

The camera settings:

Program Setting: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 500mm
F Stop: F/14
Shutter Speed: 1/125sec
ISO: 200
Tripod: Yes,
Flash: Built in, as well as Remote Synchronized Sigma 500DG
Reflective Panel: No
Cable release: Yes
White Balance: AWB
Exposure Compensation: 0

pompey, extramundi, PDP, rlortie, Mazer, liquidsunshine, sergegagne, jossim, marhowie, scottevers7, LCannon, ellis49, gerhardt, Callie, Luc, carper, Janice, red45, coasties, deud, azulu has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To sergegagne: Hi Sergejapie 1 01-27 06:26
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • pompey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 144 W: 4 N: 746] (2774)
  • [2005-01-25 15:35]

Great post Japie, a beautiful bird and this is a great night shot.
Excellent detailed note also.
A great capture!

Great capture, Japie. It looks sleepy, I think you hitted this one with the flash through its open pupils into the head, Sure it was dizzy some time :DDD
Very nice the effect of the black BG & black eyes. Thanks!

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-01-25 16:27]

Beautiful photo Japie. I love the dark background and the half closed eyes of the owl. Very good work.

Very good capture Japie. Good details and excellent use of your flashes: no burned whites. The expression of this owl is amazing: looks like it's a bit sad.

  • Great 
  • Mazer Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 65 W: 3 N: 34] (104)
  • [2005-01-25 16:59]

Great shot for a night capture, i love the detail and its colours, thanks for sharing.

Great Shot Japie, a really good night shot. Excellent detail. good note to accompany the shot, thanks for posting.

Yes, Japie, you were indeed lucky to get a view of this owl in the wild, and to have time to take this picture with tripod, fill flash and cable release. Very good work. Did you use RAW format? Many thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2005-01-25 20:15]

Bonne photo. je suis pas encore rendue à fair de la photo de nuit. Mais votre photo est nette et trés agréable à regarder. Merci pour l'envoi.

This a great night shot Japie! Makes this "GIANT" really stand out in the frame..Very good sharpness & detail with great use of your flash. Great notes.. Lady Luck definitely made an appearance on this night! Well done!!

Great shot on this Giant Eagle Owl. Excellent detail, and great exposure with the flash used. Great informative notes. Well Done!

  • Great 
  • optic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 322 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2005-01-25 22:14]

It's a beauty shot ! wonderfull colors and sharpness, it's hard to take a picture by night...very well done Japie i like it !



Wow this is an amazing shot of a great bird! You can feel like one could reach right out and touch him the detail is so sharp!
This one doesn't belong in your book! ;-)
The flash worked perfectly.

This a great picture Japie.
It don't looks like flash picture, the exposure is very nice.
Very good details of the smooth plumage, great pose and colours. Great note too.
Excellent work.

Aaaarrgghh... First Callie and now you. I still have to get a proper owl shot and with all the nice owls on site recently I am turning more greener by the day. Great shot Japie. First for the giant?

Very nice shot Japie and that for at night. Brilliant. I like the stern look. Almost like he's wondering whether he should attack nthe aliens invading his territory.
Good work

  • Great 
  • Nico Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 199 W: 1 N: 335] (1321)
  • [2005-01-26 0:32]

Ou Wysneus. Good capture. He looks deep in thought, I wonder about what.

Hi Japie
Great shot, and no red-eye in the yes, very nice, and very difficult to get "right" This one has a serence spression. One one my and Pietta's favourite owls. Good note too.
Now WHY are your eys SO big, Gran'ma?

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-01-26 1:20]

I am tired. So, no joke on this one. He looks at me too austerely so that I can allow myself the slightest disagreeable allusion.
(Dont tell him but he reminds me Charlie Chaplin in The Dictator.)
Another excellent post from you, Japie.

Your a lucky man Japie,
very good capture, Very good composing shot and yes there are those eyes, fantastic, fine details and a good pof and dof and a very good note, well done.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-01-26 2:32]

Good shot of this owl Japie. He looks like you stunned him with his heavy eyes. Love his orange eye makeup too. Very good work.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-01-26 4:19]

Now we know why owl is symbol of wisdom. She looks like old wise professor :-) Great portrait Japie!

Great portrait, he looks very sad.
Good details colours and note. I would clone-out the leaves on the right side.
Well done.

Hi Japie

Great face on this Owl. Good detail captured here. Great night shot. Well done. TFS

Why she is so sad? What did you do? ;-)
I really love her "thinking" eyes and red brows. Very well done!

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2005-01-26 7:13]

Japie! Great post of this wise bird!

  • Great 
  • azulu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 111 W: 0 N: 75] (374)
  • [2005-01-27 13:12]

Great shot Japie. Great details of this beautiful bird.



  • Great 
  • miqra Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 140 W: 3 N: 23] (151)
  • [2005-02-19 11:49]

Very good detail, excellent color, excellent shot, well done!

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