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Northern Hawk Owl

Northern Hawk Owl
Photo Information
Copyright: Ivan Kruys (Argus) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-02-15
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 400D, Canon EF 300 f4L + Canon 1.4 converter
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite Bird photos -2- [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-02-16 4:18
Viewed: 3767
Points: 86
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula).
Swedish name: Hökuggla
Though commonly referred to as the Hawk Owl there are several species of owls also called ‘hawk owls’ that belong to the Ninox genus.

The Northern Hawk Owls (Surnia ulula) is practically circumpolar, occurring in Northern Europe, Siberia and Canada. In Sweden they are normally found north of the central part of the country. However, when there is a shortage of rodents during the winter they fly south in search of prey.
This is what this individual did and has been there for the last month during in a wooded area near a small town some 60 km (37 miles) south of us.

It is so-called because of the hawk-like appearance that includes the relatively long tail and the barred markings on the front of the body and the falcon-like shape of the wings. It is about the size of a Woodpigeon.

It is partially diurnal, flying from one perch to the next, like this one is doing, in order to listen and look out for rodents with its very sharp hearing and eyesight.

This was taken at a distance of about 20 meters (65 ft) with my camera hand-held. After moderate cropping and size reduction the image was selectively sharpened.

Heaven, CeltickRanger, septimiu_nemes, jaycee, eng55, siggi, Noisette, nglen, Juyona, cataclysta, flashpoint, pekkavalo1, boreocypriensis, crs, jusninasirun, haraprasan, jpdenk, Tamrock, valy67, bikefifty, Dis. Ac., anel, efsus, horia, Alex99, iris has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-02-16 4:24]

Hi Ivan,
well shown owl with that stare. The plumage similar to that of the tree bark.
superb sharpness and i like the yellow shiny eyes very much.
well composed of the position and exploitation of the branches.


Nice capture

Hello Ivan,
this is very nice capture of Owl! Beautiful composition, very good sharpness, colours and BG.
Best regards, Leonid

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2009-02-16 5:32]

hi ivan,
fine portrait, beautiful lighting is the soul of this image. good contrast and colors. eye contact of this great owl is stunning. tfs.

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2009-02-16 5:46]

Hi Ivan,

A nice image with good quality from 20 mtrs distance,I tried a few years ago to find one of this specie which was siighted close by,unfortunatly did not show up then,well done and tfs


Hi Ivan!

Your picture of the Hawk Owl is superb. The bird's position in the tree , the fact that the spectator looks straight into the Owl's eyes and the rich details make it an outstanding one. I also like the separations created by the tree and the branch. Your notes are very pleasant to read and instructive.

Kind regards


Ciao Ivan, splendid owl with fine details and wonderful sharpness, perfect focus and lovely blurry BG, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hi Ivan...Like the split frame with this with your owl dissecting both halves which kinda gives it a balance. Detail is good with some subtle light poking into the shadows.

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-02-16 6:38]

Hello Ivan
Great capture with fine details and natural colors. Well done.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-02-16 6:48]

Hello Ivan,
One of my favourite owls. What a superb photo! The light is so beautiful! Great natural colours. Perfect sharpness and details. I can see the finest details in the eyes.
Excellent POV, OOF BG and composition.

hello Ivan
super composition
great details
beautiful picture
greeting lou

hello Ivan

excellent photography of the Northern Hawk Owl,
shot with fine POV and appropriate vertical framing,
excellent sharpness and details, and a beautiful glance
of the Hawk Owl on you, TFS


wow , very sharp capture with a great subject ,
perfect details and very good light , wonderful colours and nice POV ,
well done !

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-02-16 9:54]

Hi Ivan,

It's so unusual to see an Owl looking right at the camera! A wonderful shot of this Northern Hawk Owl in a marvelous pose. I love the expression on his face and the wise looking yellow eyes. Beautiful colors and details of the head and plumage. Composition is superb.


  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-02-16 10:03]

Hi Ivan,
Very beautiful capture of this Owl.POV,details,harmonious colors,expression on face and composition are wonderful.
Thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-02-16 10:07]

Hello Ivan,
A very nice capture of this beatifull owl,nice colors and very good sharpness and DOF,well done and TFS
Best regards Siggi

Hello Ivan
this hawk owl is very beautiful, I like his plumage, his pose and his look
fine details of the main subject
great composition
very well done

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-02-16 11:33]

Hi Ivan. I just love the way Owls allways stare at you with big eyes. The colour of the feathers makes this one blend into the tree bark so well. You have taken it with fine detail and such natural colours. All with interesting notes. well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2009-02-16 11:43]

Great capture friend
mimetic and excellent bird pose.
perfect clarity

Hi Ivan
It is fantastic. I envy you this observation. Good, sharp, nicely composed image with good contrast. Nice blured background and good diagona composition

Merhaba İvan,güzel bir kuş,güzel bir kompozisyon ve güzel bir çekim,ellerine sağlık,dostlukla :)

ciao Ivan!
excellent portrait of the hunter of the north
with magnificent detail of the feathers and posture

best sERGIO

Hi Ivan,
Excellent capture of Hawk Owl with excellent POV, pose, composition, sharp fine details. Great mean stare at you with those amazing yellow eyes. Well done!

Hi MF Ivan, a stunningly perfect capture of this pretty owl with lovely posture with fine composition, great details and wonderful sharpness.
TFS and cheers Dostum Ivan!

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2009-02-16 22:03]

Hello Ivan,

You have taken this photo from a fine POV having a fine perspective over the bird. The side light you have had looks very nice bringing an excelent shine in impressive bird's eye. Plumage pattern is well shown and there is a fine match with the texture of the barck behind.

Thank you for sharing,

Hi Ivan,

It is always my dream to shoot owl like this because rarely do I see them in broad daylight.The eye contact is amazing and the perch and sharpness is pristine. I like the light falling on the plume exposing the vivid details. TFS and best regards.


Hi Ivan,
A lovely capture of this beautiful Northern Hawk Owl. Very well spotted, captured with sharp details and also a very nice composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hi Ivan,

An excellent capture, shows the bird in detail, nicely composed too.


härligt ivan!
knivskarp och mycke fin bild
pċ denna fina uggla!
very good!

  • Great 
  • valy67 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1727 W: 59 N: 3060] (9219)
  • [2009-02-17 13:23]

Hello Ivan !
Amazing picture of this beautiful owl ! I specially like the cold and greyish winter colors, the light, the composition, and the pose of the owl - it's looking directly at you. The details on the plumage are nice too, as well as the huge tree behind the bird. Very well done !

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2009-02-17 13:52]

Hi Ivan,
a very good shot of this Northern Hawk Owl.
Really sharp and clear.
Superb POV.

Very, very well done,



This is a great shot. The look on it's face and the light in the eye is perfect. The tree works very well framing the bird.

Thanks for sharing - Bob

Hi Ivan,

An nice capture from this Owl (Sperweruil in het Nederlands)
Good dof, pov and beautiful brown tones.


Hi Ivan,
Great capture of Surnia ulula. Excellent lighting, sharpness & eye contact with bird. TFS.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-02-18 4:39]

Hello Ivan,
It seems that in the North, you see more often owls as here. I like the way you have caught this specimen, perched in a funny manner on the branch. Amazing also to see that the colors of the plumage are alsmost the same as the tree-bark. What a sharp and vivid look! A beautiful bird, indeed.
Merci et bon après-midi

Gracias como siempre Ivan por tu colaboración en la Id de mi polilla.
Tu toma preciosa. Estas aves son muy apreciadas en mi familia por su belleza. Mención especial a ese ojo tan bien captado.
Un abrazo: Josep Ignasi.

  • Great 
  • efsus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 415 W: 11 N: 843] (3947)
  • [2009-02-19 0:17]

Merhaba Dostum Ivan,
Hiç görmediğim bir yırtıcı kuş. Ayle sanıyorum ki, ağacın gövdesine çok uygun bir kamuflaj yaparak avını beklerken çekmişsiniz. Detaylar çok hoş. Renkler ve netlik çok başarılı. Emeğine sağlık.


  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2009-02-20 0:47]

Hi Ivan

Apparently i missed this one and i'm very sorry for that...because it's a real gem!
I don't remember very many photos of Northern Hawk Owls and so this is an even greater contribution for us here. It's a real pleasure to watch and read more about this beautiful and very interesting species.
Indeed, it does look a bit more hawk-like with that long tail :)
From 20 meters, this is an amazing shot! Even more if it's taken handheld!!! You've really mastered this technique and achieved some very very remarkable results...and we are here to enjoy them. I hope members like you will still be here to show us their great work in the years to come.

Bravo and TFS

nice portrait, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • reina Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 257 W: 1 N: 330] (2032)
  • [2009-02-21 0:24]

excellent shot, my wish too see this in wildlife, great eye contact, tfs reina

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-02-21 23:24]

Hi Ivan.
I am impressed with this wonderful shot a lot. Pictured scene as well as quality of the shot are amazing. Especially I like fine cold truly winter lights and colour palette. It is clear that shot is taken in winter. DOF and details/sharpness of the owl and tree are superb and cannot be better and light BG also is great. Bravo. Outstanding work.

Witaj Ovan
So I did not see owl's beautiful picture yet. Feather, eyes and beak are sketched very clearly. Long dreamt of composition.
Pozdrawiam - Roma

  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2009-03-06 20:53]

Hello again Ivan,
I have passed by this presentation many times and have wanted to come back and comment on this and today i have the opportunity.The first thing i noticed was the length of the tail and i havent seen an owl wih that kind of tail.The bird is shown in good light,clarity and focus.The strips and markings are well visible.The similarities between the owl and the hawk are quite evident.

I appreciate you mentioning the size of the bird and the reference to the Wood Pigeon.It gives the reader a better perspective of the size of the bird.Fine DoF and well managed compositin.

TFS and cheers

Super species , very good composition .
TFS and good luck Ivan .

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