Northern Hawk Owls

Raptors are always one of my favourite subjects to photograph. Their size makes them easy to spot and they are generally more approachable in the winter, and the absence of leaves on trees makes them even easier to spot as they often hunt on roadsides.

One of the more unusual owls for a southern area Northern Hawk Owl. We had one over-winter near Hamilton in 2008 and it stayed for about two months. It was an unprecedented bird for the area, and many people saw it during its stay. A small, falcon-like owl, it lives up to its name – hunting by day and mostly by sight. They can be quite aggressive, and show little fear of people.

This Hawk Owl posed for a few minutes on this pole, seemingly showing off his catch.

This Hawk Owl posed for a few minutes on this pole, seemingly showing off his catch. (click to enlarge)

Captured just as he was about to land on his prey

Captured just as he was about to land on his prey (click to enlarge)

Heres another angle on him as he was pouncing

Here's another angle on him as he was pouncing (click to enlarge)

Owls tend to mantle their prey, hiding them from view in case other predators are around, then kill them and fly away to eat them.

Owls tend to mantle their prey, hiding them from view in case other predators are around, then kill them and fly away to eat them. (click to enlarge)

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