Great Horned Owl Portrait

I photographed this close up portrait of a Great Horned Owl during the raptor free flight program at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson, Arizona,

 

You know how I love birds and I must say this Great Horned Owl was simply stunning.

 

Best viewed Large click on All sizes in the menu above.

 

Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera and Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens

 

Some information from Wikipedia on the Great Horned Owl (Scientific Name bubo virginignus)

 

Owls have spectacular binocular vision allowing them to pinpoint prey and see in low light. The eyes of Great Horned Owls are nearly as large as those of humans and are immobile within their circular bone sockets. Instead of turning their eyes, they turn their heads. Therefore, their neck must be able to turn a full 270 degrees in order to see in other directions without moving its entire body.

 

An owl's hearing is as good – if not better – than its vision; they have better depth perception and better perception of sound elevation (up-down direction) than humans. This is due to owl ears not being placed in the same position on either side of their head: the right ear is typically set higher in the skull and at a slightly different angle. By tilting or turning its head until the sound is the same in each ear, an owl can pinpoint both the horizontal and vertical direction of a sound.

 

These birds hunt at night by waiting on a high perch and swooping down on prey. They also have 500 pounds per square inch of crushing power in their talons. An average adult human male has about 60 pounds per square inch in his hands. In northern regions, where larger prey that cannot be eaten quickly are most prevalent, they may let uneaten food freeze and then thaw it out later using their own body heat.

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Taken on January 16, 2010
  • ƒ/7.1
  • 390.0 mm
  • 1/400
  • 125
  • Flash (off, did not fire)
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