Sometimes when photographing wildlife you just have to be in the right place at the right time. This is no small owl, the Great Horned Owl is quite large, and their flight is so silent that I have seen them fly across a large pasture, right by my head, and never knew they were there until I saw the enormous wing span of this bird fly by.
Other times though, you would be best to make your own luck. This shot was taken at the Auburn University Raptor Center when my UAB photography class was invited to see the birds, and learn about wildlife photography while we were there. Proper technique in wildlife photography is important so as not to disrupt the animals behavior, but it also isn’t as simple as asking a person to turn and smile.
We have these owls all around our property here in Alabama. I would hate to have this guy bearing down on my head. His distinctive yellow eyes makes him look quite intense.
Other posts of note on the Great Horned Owl I found are: OWL: Great horned owls!, and Hatchling Great Horned Owl, if you ever have a chance, try to visit the AU Raptor Center, you won’t be disappointed.