19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World

An owl glances in my direction, casting her unsettlingly asymmetrical gaze toward me. This owl was hunting in the pasture early one morning while I was out checking the area for moose. I had my camera on hand and began photographing it, only to notice its right pupil was extremely dialated. It's hard to say whether this was caused by a traumatic head injury or simply delayed dilation of the eye that was closed against the morning wind. Despite the strangeness of its appearance, the owl was hunting successfully.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 11.2021
Date Uploaded: 11.2021
Photo Location: Salmon, Idaho, United States of America
Camera: E-M1MarkIII
Copyright: © Brooke Bartleson