Last Thoughts

the verge of consumption... nestled in the seaside bluffs of Half Moon Bay, CA.


I almost fell off my chair when I saw the simultaneous expression of predator and prey....

(best viewed large)


The FlickrBlog wrote, with a bit of alarmism:

“Flickr user jurvetson has captured an amazing fraction of a second in the interaction between prey and bird of prey. Warning: this photo is NOT for viewers who would be disturbed by images of small cute things meeting their end - it is really quite gruesome. If that sounds like you, don't click."


(repost after accidental deletion... 148 wonderful comments and 308 faves are lost... sorry)

  • Raffy Carvalheira 6y

    Oh wow!

    Awesome shot! One of the best i ever seen!

    poor rodent tho!
  • Steve Jurvetson 6y

    Raffy - Thanks!
  • Antoine Vekris 6y

    I can't help it, I keep wondering how the hawk taste.

    Great shot.
  • dbootsthediva 6y

    This is a excellent photo. Seems like I am actually standing there and seeing it with my own eyes.
    May I ask a question. Why does the weed behind the bird compress into almost specific geometrical shapes? I have been noticing this specific about plants, trees,leaves,etc. in photos and recordings.
  • Alan Eriksson 6y

    Realy great shot,
    Amazing moment
  • Alexander Hugo Tartari 6y

  • Joe Leavitt 5y

    Great job. You were definitely prepared at the right time!
  • Phil 5y

    Seen in wikipedia.. Superb shot..
  • Daniel D'Auria 5y

    NOW I know what happened to my pet vole! Sorry, couldn't help myself. This is a once in a lifetime photo! Well, yes....for the vole too, but you know what I mean! This photo will likely be around long after we are all gone and forgotten. Right place at the right time!
  • Coco 5y

    This is amazing! I actually found this photo while Googling for photos to confirm that a hawk I photographed was a juvenile red-tail...your bird looks just like mine, and they're from the same general thank you for helping me with that!

    I cannot believe how incredible this photo is...the look on the vole's face!
  • Gemma Malenoir 5y

    This is one of the most amazing wildlife shots i have ever seen! Truly stunning!!! :)
  • Steve Jurvetson 5y

    thanks. And for a first-time commenter here, it means a lot to me
  • Gemma Malenoir 5y

    You're welcome :)
    Yea i've also read about what happened, and i'm so sorry for that, but don't worry i'm sure that you'll get a lot more future comments on this! It's brilliant!
  • Alan Whyte 4y

    Stunning image Steve, what lens did you use to get this as the detail is superb and did you do any post processing to sharpen the image at all.
  • Steve Jurvetson 4y

    Canon 100-400mm at 400mm and no post processing at all. Just a crop.

    flickr lost the metadata somehow when they lost the photo and reposted (this image also does not show up in tag or keyword search.... it is in flickr limbo).

    Canon 5D, f/6.3, 1/400 sec, ISO 640, no flash, standard settings
  • Alan Whyte 4y

    Same lens as I am using most of the time. Nice to see thats its capable of producing this quality under the right lighting conditions, shame the light is not as good as this in Britain.
  • Steve Jurvetson 2y

    Check out this sequence of a Great Grey Owl in Minnesota:




    And the current New Scientist sheds light on their senses. In this case, the owl has ears offset asymmetrically on the skull at 2 and 7 o’clock and the differential timing and volume allows it to pinpoint prey, even when the rodent is scurrying in tunnels under snow.

    “Intriguingly, the hearing ability of birds living in temperate climes fluctuates through the year. The auditory regions of their brains grow during the breeding season, then shrink when song becomes less important. Understanding this process could provide clues to treating Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.”

    “Another important difference between bird and human hearing occurs in the inner ear, and especially in the cochlea – the structure containing the vibration-sensitive "hearing" hairs. It is snail-shaped in humans, hence its name, whereas in birds it is banana-shaped. In both, the hair cells detect changes in pressure and transform these into electrical signals, which are interpreted as sound in the brain. Crucially, we cannot replace damaged hair cells, making deafness a scourge in older people. Birds, have no such problem: they can grow new hair cells. If we can discover the genetic basis underpinning this difference, it could give us the potential to solve a common cause of age-related hearing loss.”
  • kemolledog 1y

    Check out the Decorah Eagles Webcam to see the best live eagle webcam around; and the pair of eagles just hatched their latest family of three... .....
  • Chris Beach 1y

    "There was something preying on Jerry's mind."

    50 more captions for this photo on

    Got more great photos for captioning? Add them to this group
  • bob ingram... 8mo

    Awesome photo...
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