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The Hidden Hooter: Adorable baby owl is camouflaged by mother's feathers


A wildlife photographer taking pictures of a owl in a Californian park was amazed to discover she had unknowingly snapped a tiny owlet - perfectly blending into its mother's plumage.

Marina Scarr only realised her pictures showed two owls after she looked at the shot on her camera, taken in Desoto Park, Florida.

Marina said: 'When I took the picture, I had no idea there were two birds there.

'I was quite far away from the next, under a canopy so I didn't scare the birds, and the light wasn't good.

 
Where did he go? this photo shows the mother great horned owl and her baby, camouflaged against her feathers

Where did he go? This photo shows the mother great horned owl and her baby camouflaged against her feathers

 

 
Where did he go? this photo shows the mother great horned owl and her baby, camouflaged against her feathers

Can you spot the baby? The owlet is slightly easier to see in this picture. The mother uses her feathers to protest her baby from predators

 

'Then I heard a young boy shout out 'Look at the baby in the belly'. I started shooting, but even then, I couldn't see it myself.

'It was only when he started poking his head about that I spotted him.

 

She took the photo on her second visit to the nest as she had hoped to get the mother and baby great horned owl in the same shot.

Originally there were two owlets, but one died at about six days old. The one in the photos is about 10 days old.

 
Wildlife photographer marina scarr only realised she had taken pictures of two owls after she looked at the shot on her camera

Wildlife photographer Marina Scarr only realised she had taken pictures of two owls after she looked at the shot on her camera

She added: 'The babies are born white, but when they are about 10 to 12 days old, the feathers start turning a tan colour.

'The mother owl is actually blind in one eye, but still manages to raise young with her mate every year.

'Before this owlet was ready to fly, he fell out of the nest several times and had to be put back in by the park ranger.

'I photograph the owls here every year. I love being out in nature and photographing its wonders, I find it soothing.

'I feel privileged when animals behave totally naturally when I am in their presence, giving me that opportunity to share their beauty and quirky behaviour.'




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