A Little Owl (R) defends its feeding position from a Great spotted woodpecker
(L) with both birds showing a their full colours with dramatic full wing extensions.
Photo and caption by Ian Schofield,
National Geographic Photo Contest
Great gray owls come south from Canada into Minnesota during the winter to find food. This owl was on the north shore of Lake Superior, just south of Two Harbors, Minnesota. We happened to find him as the sun was setting, and in the evening light, we were able to be in a position to see an owl that was hunting when a mouse came out, and the owl was quick to pounce and pick up an evening meal.
Photograph by: Tom Samuelson,
Location: Minnesota, USA
Editor’s Note, April 18, 2013: Since first posting this picture, we’ve received additional information. The mouse was placed in position to attract the owl.
This female barred owl had a territory near his home in Burnaby, British Columbia. He watched her for some time, familiarizing himself with her flight paths until he knew her well enough to set up the shot.
“I wanted to include the western red cedar and the sword ferns so typical of this Pacific coastal Rain Forest.”
Setting up his camera near one of the owl’s favorite perches, linked to a remote and three off-camera flashes, diffused and on low settings, he put a dead mouse on a platform above the camera and waited for the swoop that he knew would come.
“She grabbed the mouse, flew back to her perch and began calling to her mate. It is one of the most exciting calls to hear in the wild.”
By Connor Stefanison,
Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013