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African Barn Owl IV *For Smitha*

African Barn Owl IV *For Smitha*
Photo Information
Copyright: Joe Kellard (joey) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-02-03
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 400D (Rebel XTi), Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 USM, Digital ISO-400, Kenko 58mm UV filter
Exposure: f/8, 1/200 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Dedications at TrekNature Part Three [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-02-26 1:08
Viewed: 7133
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This one is for Smitha for all her fabulous photos she's posted over her first year here on TN.

This photo will complete my very spred out series of African Barn Owl shots.

This was taken at the Butterfly House and Bird-Of-Prey Centre in Sheffield.

I hope you like it!

African Barn Owl
Tyto alba affinis

Medium sized owl, with relatively long legs, and heart shaped facial disk. Very variable in colouration depending on race, from pale birds with white under-parts and pale buff upper-parts; to some island races which have rufous buff under-parts and dark grey (gray) upper-parts. A variable grey (gray) veiling on the upper-parts seems to be characteristic of the species. Females tend to be generally darker and more heavily marked than males.

29-44cm, 187-400g

Europe, Africa, Middle East, India & South East Asia, Australia, Americas from Canadian border to Tierra del Fuego as well as many oceanic islands.
Habitat Prefers open lowlands, particularly areas including rough grassland, but also plantations, heath, marsh, coastal regions, savannah. Generally avoids forests apart from some island races. Up to 4000m.

Mainly small mammals, particularly rodents, but also small birds, reptiles, frogs and sometimes insects. Some populations may specialise on a particular prey species e.g. palm rats in Malaysian palm plantations.

Normally monogamous. Has been recorded breeding in all months. Nest often in natural cavity in a tree trunk, stump or branch, as well as on cliffs and in caves. Frequently uses artificial sites, such as secluded ledges in buildings. Normally 3-7 eggs (can be up to 16) laid at 2-3 day intervals. Incubation begins with first or second egg, and lasts 29-34 days. 1-2 broods a year are normal, but 3 or more may occur when food is plentiful. The young leave the nest by about 10 weeks and become independent within another 8 weeks.

Many vocalisations have been documented, including hisses, snores wheezes etc., however the song is a long drawn out tremulous “screech”, often given in flight. The female gives a similar call but deeper in pitch.

Not globally threatened, but many island populations are threatened or vulnerable, normally from loss of habitat.

smitha, SelenE, eqshannon, jaycee, boreocypriensis, nglen, NinaM, Adanac, ramthakur, Jamesp, SkyF has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To marieproue: Bonjour Mariejoey 2 03-01 07:36
To arfer: Nesting Barn Owlsjoey 1 02-28 12:19
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Critiques [Translate]

hello joe,
nice portrait shot of the owl, I am sure that smitha will be delighted with this dedication, liked the composition and the dark bg,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-02-26 1:38]

Hello Joey, Have you seen smitha.(just joking) and she must be delighted on your lovely dedication and the dark BG as pankaj dada pointed is giving highlight to the subject. TFS Ganesh

Hello Joe,
WOW! what a beautiful dedication. I am overwhelmed. It's a beautiful picture, Joe.If I write the critique like you do, it will go like this:
sharpness & details +++++
Colors and contrast +++++
Use of flash +++++
Composition +++++
--- Nothing.
Thank you Joe for this beautiful dedication and both Pankaj and Ganesh are right- I am really delighted.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-02-26 3:23]

Hi Joe,
What a nice dedication for Smitha. Very nice portrait of this owl. I liked the dark background. TFS
Best wishes,

Stupendo primo piano, superbi dettagli e colori. Complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

I see where you mention it appears from Canada South in America...I am not real lucky at finding nor seeing owls. I have heard them at night when camped out nearby this present location. Perhaps not this particular one, too dark to tell what it was..and I have only seen two or three owls in my life which I can remember at all...not counting the zoo..but my mind of course as all kids was on the big animals...so this fine image will suffice..and perchance it will give me more occasional and knowledge to expand my search for those things I have not yet to capture on film, nor in digits.

Hello Joe,
They look so majestic and special, no matter what species they are or where they come from!
This is a sure winner, with a face like that...
Excellent details in the plumage, each and every feather comes out well...
A well framed portrait, fine colour palette!
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-02-26 8:44]

Hi Joe,

A marvelous dedication to Smitha. This Owl portrait is superb. I love that furry face! Wonderful colors and great details of the face and plummage. He posed beautifully for you - can't be camera shy.


Hello friend Joe,

Another wonderful-fabulous capture of this African Barn Owl with excellent focus, composition and details friend!
TFS and Regards,


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-02-26 12:48]

Hi Joe. A nice dedication to Smitha. and what a fine close up. your work just keeps getting better and better. spot on detial great use of the light to give natural looking colours. great work well done TFS.

Another of your perfect portraits of a barn owl Joe, again captured from an ideal POV with great definition. TFS my friend.

Hello Joe,
again a wonderfull shot of this very cute colorfull Owl,
excellent quality post, all is perfect on this one, focus colours composition are splendid,
cheer my friend,

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-02-26 16:45]

This is just a fantastic picture of this lovely bird who doesn't live in my area, too far up north! They have some species in northern US and some can be seen in the southern southern part of Québec. As for the invisibility coat that you think we have, this is very simple: Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers are not afraid by our presence unless you approach with lots of noise. Red breasted nuthatch do the same, they won't leave and you can get close to them. The chickadees too but the problem with them is that they move all the time, they don't stay at one place for very long.

And your bird pictures are as great as the spiders' and other bugs' pictures. Thank you so much!


Hello Joe,
very good portrait once again in such closeness!
perfect sharpness, beautiful colour and details
well done

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-02-26 19:27]

Hello Joe,
Those black pools of mystery they have for eyes are like the black holes in space they drwa you in. This is an outstanding image my friend thanks for sharing and the great notes.

The black background caused by the flash is really effective behind this beautiful owl. The exposure, color and sharpness are so good.

Evelynn : )

Anther fine portrait of a Barn Owl, Joe.
The eyes of this bird make my day.
Thanks for sharing this wonderful image.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-02-26 23:45]

Hi Joe

Another superb composition of this Barn Owl (I am seeing these every other day at the moment - but either cannot stop or my camera is not with me) - excellent POV with wonderful detail, well handled exposure and great colour.



  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-02-27 2:02]

Hello Joe,
This is a lovely close-up of the Barn Owl showing perfect sharpness and beautiful colours and patterns of the plumage. Well done!
TFS and cheers, Ulla

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2008-02-27 6:16]

Hi Joe,
gorgeous shot, love the dark back ground, it does bring out the detail in the plumage perfectly.
Excellent model, looking straight into the camera ;-).

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-02-27 20:26]
  • [+]

Hello Joe

This series of owls is brilliant.
I always wondered where Barn Owls lived before man built barns.LOL.
The pose is wonderful,and the focus is spot on.
Excellent plumage detail and colour.
A superb portrait.


Magnifique, quels beaux détails, close-up extraordinaitre avec couleurs très naturelles.

Hi Joey,
Excellent portrait POV of this magnificant barn owl species. The viewer can really enjoy the fine detail on this close up shot. TFS :)

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2008-03-11 19:13]

Bonjour Joe,,

Bravo pour cette belle prise de cet oiseau merveileux. Félicitations pour les détails et couleurs justes.

Merci pour le partage.

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