It appears that owls love a selfie, too. Megan Lorenz took this shot of a burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) staring at a GoPro camera during a visit to Cape Coral, Florida. Her picture was a winner in the Backyard Habitat Category in U.S. conservation group National Wildlife Federation’s annual photo competition.
Metro talked briefly with Megan to learn about how she came across the owl.
Metro: Describe how you captured this moment on camera.
Lorenz:Last May, I was visiting Cape Coral, famous for its burrowing owls. I went to the entrance to a burrow and placed a GoPro camera in front of it, originally hoping to video the owls making their way out of their nest. Within an hour two adult owls and five owlets came out. One particular owlet was instantly curious about the GoPro and spent the next few hours transfixed by it. Many times it looked like he was trying to cuddle with the camera, inching up to it and standing right in front of it, pushing into it and pecking at it.
What do you think made the owl so curious about the camera?
Perhaps he was able to see his reflection in the GoPro lens and that’s what attracted him to the camera. Or maybe he had enough of the other owlets and wanted to play with something else! There always seems to be one owlet at every burrow that stands out to me and displays that type of inquisitive nature. It seems to me that he was obssessed with his reflection after seeing a series of photos of him positioning himself in front as if to ensure the best selfie.
What do you like about this picture?
It just makes me laugh. Looking at this photo takes me right back to that day.
You’re a keen photographer of owls. What makes them special?
I love their expressions, ‘head-tilting’ behavior and huge eyes. Burrowing owls are special: they are amusing because of how they run around and fall over. They wriggle their way into your heart one awkward step at a time.