Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 21/07/2011


I’ve written about the White-faced Scops owl before, but they’re such a charismatic creature that I can’t help myself when ever I see them, I just have to snap away. Found on African Savannah, these birds are a bit lazy really and use the old nest of birds to lay their egg – mind you, if the nest is there, and it’s not being used, why not! I think I like the birds so much due to their diminutive size, as well as the contrast of their bright orange eyes to their black, white and grey plumage which makes for a striking photo (it’s all about the photo, man!).

Reading on the web today, Keyna are setting fire to five tonnes of ivory, worth over £10million, in a determined stance against poachers and the criminals who make money out of hunting elephants. There are around 500,000 elephants in Africa, which would seem like a healthy number but in 1979 there were between One and Three million elephants. Having had close encounters (but not close enough for my liking!) with these majestic animals whilst in Africa (did I mention I’ve been there recently?) I can’t understand anyone wanting to kill them, but then I’m writing this from a comfy (but full of camera gear) office, in a safe and secure environment and I don’t have to think about where the next meal comes from (it’s obvious… the fridge). It’s very easy to take the moral high ground from here – but that’s where these global environmental initiatives Governments etc are attempting to provide a income from the protection of and access to such magnificent creatures.

Right, I’ll just get down off my soap box… thud…it’s pretty high up there you know, the moral high ground. Anyway, I achieved one of my New Years Resolutions today – I have had over 60,000 views on flickr for 2011, and increase on last years 40,000 and I’ve still got five months left of this year. That doesn’t mean I’ll be resting on my laurels (I find they never rest properly on the head after they’ve been rested on), I’m keen to get more exposure (as long as it’s not too cold) on flickr and on the internet in general, anything to promote my photos.

I’ll finish with a little fact I learnt today, amazingly White-faced Scops Owls can live up to 30 years,proving that Owls aren’t just for Christmas!


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