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Back in November I spent some time photographing and filming Great Gray Owls. We are fortunate to have these owls year round here in Montana, unlike many other places where they are a migratory species. When I look at this image I will always remember the rush that I felt looking deep into the eyes of this owl as it flew directly towards me.
The owl was actively hunting when I captured this image. It had just flown out into the meadow and pounced on a rodent. As I watched the owl devour its meal through the tall grass, I re-positioned my tripod and adjusted my camera settings for the moment it took flight. The sun was setting, and there was a light snow that was falling. I knew that this would be my last opportunity of the evening.
When the owl finally took off from the meadow it apparently decided that the tree directly behind me would be a great place to land. With the owl now only about 60 yards away and approaching fast, I rattled off 10 frames per second as it made its way across the meadow, thinking that it would soon change direction when it realized I was standing there. Just as the owl's head filled my viewfinder I pulled my eye from the camera to find the owl only a few feet in front of my camera and still coming! I literally fell to the ground, taking my camera and tripod with me, and watched as the owl flew over the spot where I was just standing. It was a great way to end the day, and I sure was grateful for having fast reflexes!
Edited on Mar 17, 2017 at 05:49 AM · View previous versions