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Great Gray Owls



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Safe Under Mother's Wings
Photograph by Daniel J. Cox

When she has eggs or chicks to care for, a great gray female like this one in Montana rarely ventures far from the nest. Canadian biologist Jim Duncan has discovered that females sometimes lose a third of their body weight in as little as a month, going without food so more can go to their young. Male owls also make sacrifices for their young. Duncan saw the strain of parenting in an adult male he observed at the end of a summer devoted to raising five chicks. With worn-out plumage, "he looked like a spent salmon," says Duncan.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Nikon F5
Film Type: Sensia
Lens: 80-200mm f/2.8
Speed and F-Stop: Unrecorded
Weather Conditions: Warm and overcast
Time of Day: Midday
Lighting Techniques: Natural light


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