A Short-Eared Owl, a Harrier and a Vole

In addition to snowy owls, there were also short-eared owls at Boundary Bay, as well as plenty of harrier hawks. The two didn’t like each other very much and they were constantly trying to steal each other’s lunch — in this case, a vole. The harrier attacked the owl in mid air and the battle was on. As you can see in the third picture, the owl came out on top and was able to retain rights to a hard fought meal.
Nikon D800 with Nikkor 200-400mm lens (at 290mm) ISO 1000, f/4 at 1/1250th of a second

This entry was posted in North America.


  1. tina January 23, 2013 at 5:46 am #

    It is amazing how you captured these action shots! I am so happy the owl won!

  2. Mom January 23, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    Amazing….you really ARE the best, Sean.

  3. Rachel January 23, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    Amazing footage! Gives a great sense of their agility in the air.

  4. clark Anderson January 23, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    Wow! You’re still my hero.

  5. GH January 23, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Either way the vole looses.

  6. Shardae January 23, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    Wow. That is intense and amazing! Poor Vole!

  7. Tom January 23, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    A gentle reminder that nature is NOT kind. Great shot Sean. ;-))

  8. Justin January 23, 2013 at 11:54 am #


  9. Amanda D. January 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Wow, just amazing!!! Nature is incredible!

  10. Herpétologie January 23, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    Very beautiful work and nice website with Photocrati !!

    Jérôme Herpetofocus

  11. Salina January 23, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    this is insane sean! I absolutely love love love it.

    • Sean Crane January 23, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

      Thanks Salina. It’s tough out there on the battle fields of Boundary Bay.

  12. Phyllis Fitzsimons January 23, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

    Holy Mackerel…utterly incredible and spectacular images!! Just incredible documentation of nature’s chain and life. I truly cannot get over the emotion captured. My God the claw which so looks as a hand around the voles neck as he is a pawn between them, helpless…
    You Sir are a master!

  13. Curt Hart January 24, 2013 at 6:40 am #

    The third shot is my favorite. Outstanding photography!

  14. Rita Maldonado January 24, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    Wow…this is simply spectacular! I am so grateful that there are photographers such as you in the world….and that you share your work with us. May you be blessed with a long and happy life, Sean!

  15. John Sessa January 24, 2013 at 2:41 pm #


  16. Mary January 28, 2013 at 8:58 am #


  17. Sue Cloutier March 5, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    Absolutely the best series ever. You have talent that I appreciate. Your work with your craft shows in these fine photographs!

  18. Ken Copen March 5, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

    Incredible pics, well done

  19. Ed Nicholles March 5, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    Absolutely stunning!

  20. dragonflydreams88 March 6, 2013 at 12:44 am #


  21. Nora Hernandez March 6, 2013 at 2:59 am #

    Wow great shots Sean. Amazing photos it’s so real as if I’m standing next to you watching this horrible but fascinating scene. It’s so true about animals being in the wild you have to be the strongest to survive. Poor vole. Thank you for sharing Sean I’d like to copy this pics to put them in my wall is that ok? Best wishes

    • Sean Crane March 6, 2013 at 7:14 am #

      Thanks Nora, I appreciate it, and yes, please repost. There’s a button under the photos to do so.

  22. Stan Tekiela March 6, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    This is so good I would suck your balls for the RAW files.


    • Sean Crane March 6, 2013 at 10:51 am #

      What do I get for an animated gif?

  23. Matt March 6, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    You realize that people have been stealing these images and its all over facebook. Your shots are that great. lol

    • Sean Crane March 6, 2013 at 10:52 am #

      Thanks Matt,
      I’ve been getting an awful lot of hits on this post. As long as it links back to my page, share away.

  24. George Heritier March 6, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    Sean, I am one of those who shared these on Facebook, and the link does indeed lead right back to this page. Wonderful shots, congratulations!

    • Sean Crane March 6, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

      Thanks George. I appreciate the re-post.

  25. KaSandra March 7, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    That is amazing and hilarious all at once so spectacular and great pic’s!!!

  26. George March 13, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    Truly fantastic work!!

  27. Rick Derevan February 18, 2014 at 1:42 am #

    Just a fantastic series of images–unbelievable action, perfect exposure, and super-sharp. The third one, in particular, should win any contest you enter. Wow!

  28. Rick Derevan February 18, 2014 at 1:48 am #

    P.S. I, too, have put these in my Facebook feed. Just too good not to share.

  29. Vibrating underwear April 6, 2014 at 3:35 am #

    I like both of the birds, but it’s nice to se that Owl wins the battle 😀

  30. Owlzrawesome! April 17, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    wow, that is stunning!!
    i’m so happy that awesome short-eared owl won!
    ……wow i’m just speechless
    GO OWLY! 🙂

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