Of all the winter birds she meets, the short-eared owl is Diana Whiting's favorite. Every time she goes out to photograph one of the raptors in western New York, she learns something new. She's learned that it's hard to spot an owl on a windy day. And she's discovered that in flight, the bird looks like a colossal, feathery moth.
Whiting also knows that you should always have a back-up plan. While pursuing this particular shot, she ended up using her car as a pseudo-blind and taking a shot right from the road. With her Nikon D800 she was able to get a dazzling image of the owl chasing its prey through the wetlands. But she didn't stop there. "After I have one nice portrait, I'm always interested in capturing behavior shots," Whiting says. The lucid landscape served as a blank canvas so that the focus of her photograph was on the maneuvers of the moth bird.
This image was a Top 100 photo from the 2013 Audubon Magazine Photography Awards. To see all of the photos, click here.
*A sentence was removed to eliminate any misnomer that the photographer was intending to trespass. She maintains that she is always respectful to both the wildlife and the property owners while capturing her images.