Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 12/09/2010

Whooo are you looking at

Ural Owl, originally uploaded by andyskelton.

Okay, so it’s not a Tawn Owl, the raptor in the UK that is known for it’s Twit-twoo, though I guess there’s a superficial resemblance between the two owls.

Unlike a lot of the animals I photograph these days, the Ural Owls are not a threatened species but that doesn’t make them any less attractive.  More subtle than many, the feathers around the facial disk are ornate and thankfully my camera is sufficient to capture enough of the detail.

The owl was quite a way away, hidden in the depths of it’s environment.  Luckily with a 600mm lens, a 1.4x and 1.5x convertor I was able to fill the whole frame with the owl’s head.  Needless to say I had to use a tripod and, here’s a key tip, I had to hold my breath to minimise any camera shake.

Interestingly, and amusingly ( especially to my Wife) it’s the Tawn Owl that is responsible for the stereotypical call of all owls – “twit-twoo”.  These are actually two different calls, with the male of the species saying “Who?” in response to the females’ questioning prompt of “Twit?. As in the avian world, so as in the mammalian world!



  1. Beautiful shot!

  2. A beautiful owl, love them, and you got it so sharp with the 600mm. Great work.

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