This is the incredible moment when a photographer who was hunting for a great grey owl came across one that was perfectly camouflaged and blended into the bark of the tree.
45-year-old, Canada-based amateur photographer James S. Batuigas came upon the owl after traveling five hours to his favorite spot for wildlife photography in a British Columbia forest.
“I was planning to look for the great grey owl that day,” Batuigas tells the Daily Mail. “I was driving on a forest road searching for the great grey owls, scanning every tree hoping to find one during noontime, where they’re usually resting.
“Then suddenly in the corner of my eye I noticed something moving in the tree trunk, that’s when I realized it was the owl cunningly blended with the bark of the tree.”
The photographer claims that if the owl hadn’t turned its head to look at him, he would not have noticed it since its color and pattern blended in so perfectly with the tree it was perched on.
The great grey owl (Strix nebulosa), which may grow to a length of 33 inches, is the biggest owl species in the world (84cm).
The white collar (commonly referred to as its “bow tie”) under the owl’s face helps to identify the species, which is widespread across the Northern Hemisphere.
The Owl Research Institute states that an owl’s feathers’ hues “help it fit in with the natural environment and, of course, keep it warm.”
“The colors of an owl’s feathers help it blend in with the natural environment and, of course, keep it warm,” the Owl Research Institute writes.
“Feather colors are not the only things that help camouflage owls. They have other tricks to conceal themselves.
“Many stand tall and pull their feathers in tightly, making the owls skinnier and harder to see.”
“When trying to conceal themselves, owls raise the whitish feathers surrounding the bill.”
Owls can conceal themselves from both potential prey and keen nature photographers thanks to their outstanding camouflaging abilities.