19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Barn Owl Pair

One of the main attractions at the Carrizo Plain National Monument is Painted Rock, a massive boulder with Native American drawings carved all around it. At one point there was a large, wide fissure that cut deep into the core of the rock, and it was there that I saw this pair of Barn Owls just sitting on the top of the boulder. They would fly occasionally and land in a different spot each time, often spaced apart from each other. However, for one moment the two perched side by side in mirror fashion, their feathers matching the color of the lichen on the rock perfectly. I was fortunate to capture the magical moment before the pair flew off and out of sight.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 01.2011
Date Uploaded: 11.2021
Photo Location: California, United States of America
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Copyright: © Mitch Walters