Ural Owl at the International Centre for Birds of Prey (ICBP), Newent, Gloucestershire; 2 July 2014.

A blank expression, if owls have expressions, but certainly alert.  And a medium-sized owl, a little larger than our Tawny, motionless and regarding me passively from a high perch in a shaded cage at the end of a long line of cages.

And yet this is the one to watch, the one with a reputation for ferocious attacks upon those intruding into its nesting area.  Google “ural owl attack” and you will see footage of attacks on humans, and mention of some being blinded in Finland.  And the Collins Bird Guide describes it as very aggressive, telling birders to “keep your eyes fixed on the parents if you stumble on an inhabited nest, and leave area quickly!”.  Not at all what one would expect from the silent and still occupant of that final cage.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 3,200 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.


About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

11 Responses to ARCHIVE 242 – URAL OWL: THE ONE TO WATCH

  1. Sallyann says:

    The expression is all behind the eyes, look closer. Is he just bored and aloof, or playing with us, lulling us into a false sense of security so that we’ll move closer. 😊


  2. fantastic shot! Love him!


  3. krikitarts says:

    I think that part of the inherent spookiness about owls is their apparently-complete lack of expression. They observe (not missing anything), they contemplate, and they concentrate, and, unless they’ve been injured and are in rehab, I don’t think they like confinement one little bit. Probably not even then.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, good points, Gary >>> especially the lack of expression >>> they have two eyes facing forwards as we do, and with imagination we might see them as somehow “humanoid” but, if they are that, we can never, ever read their thoughts.

      And I take your point about dislike of confinement too – they sit stoically, motionless, returning our gaze – and I am left with the ethical choice – respect their feelings and photograph elsewhere, or take the opportunity to create images. Adrian


  4. Helen Cherry says:

    There is something so very special about Owls…


  5. paula graham says:

    Indeed, there is more to owls than meets the eye!! I LOVE them


This blog has two pleasures for me - creating the images and hearing from you - so get your thoughts out to the world!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: