Snowy Burrowing Owls

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Burrowing Owls, Speotyto cunicularia, Fighting in the Snow.

Image: Rance Rogers [larger view].

Rance Rogers captured this fleeting shot just after a heavy snow in Roswell, New Mexico. A pair of owls exploring outside their burrow were surprised when a third dropped in for a fight. Rogers enjoys photography that gives people a close-up look at nature, "so they can truly appreciate the beauty that surrounds us."

Go here to see more images. This image appears here with the kind permission of my friends at National Geographic.

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Is it just me, or is this crying out for a caption?


"Wot you pointing that camera at, eh?"


"Hold the pose - he's still fiddling about with his aperture"


That's the thing with bird watching -- sometimes the bird watches you.

By Lemon Curry (not verified) on 05 Jan 2009 #permalink

What a brilliant image! Bravo.

I'm having trouble with this one...

The composition is just too damned perfect, the fight in the fluffy snow too easy to move around or paste in...

And the bird that's looking at us instead of the quarrel? Really?

I don't know where this was taken in Roswell, but the golf course there is open to all as long as they're not golfing and is home to many highly approachable Burrowing Owls (or was, good heavens, ten years ago?).

I think the suspicious-looking part is the owl in front--isn't it too small for the perspective? Or is it just a small individual, and looking at the photographer because he's a possible threat? My mother, who I'm visiting, thinks the suspicious-looking part is that the two owls that are fighting are in better focus than the snow right next to them. But it's hard to tell how good focus snow is in.

I'll be especially impressed if the photographer got the beautiful painterly lighting without some enhancements. But if the only enhancements are to contrast and the like, I wouldn't call it fake.

By Jerry Friedman (not verified) on 07 Jan 2009 #permalink