This is a Barred Owl.
These photographs were taken as the bird was being fed by the handler (part of a breeding and education program).
The idea behind this series was to capture the birds wings when landing and leaning over the food protecting it (a mantle). This position gives the best view of the feather structure that allows silent flight.
I had time to quickly change a few lens settings since the owl was flying fairly slow. Also the lens used here was a good focal length (70-300) for this distance.
A nice side portrait was next, however…
the handler put out some food on a tree behind me and was walking away. The Owl saw an opening and took it. Me standing there really didn’t matter at all.
At this point I would love to add the perfect shots as he barreled right over me.
I had a great lens for slow shooting at this distance. Not a very good lens for fast focus of a bird coming head on. Blurs.