Hunting by ear
With the icy depths of mid-winter all around, it was no surprise this barn owl chose to stay inside Eric’s barn to hunt in the warm. Going about their business, the brown rats were oblivious to the danger. In the dark, Eric used an infrared camera trap and infrared light to capture the image.
Barn owls have the most sensitive hearing of any animal ever tested. Its ears are different shapes and positioned at slightly different heights, meaning each hears a different sound. This allows them to pick out the high-frequency noises made by small mammals, such as rats, and locate exactly where to launch their attack.
Nikon D200; 18-70mm f3.5-f4.5 lens at 25mm and infrared filter; 1/125 sec at f5.6; ISO 640; three Nikon Speedlight SB-24 flashes.
Le Bourgneuf-la-Forêt, Mayenne, France
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