“It Sent Tingles Down My Spine For Hours”: Owl Lands On This Photographer’s Lens, Ends Up Blending In Perfectly

Photography is all about catching that perfect moment. And depending on what you’re catching, that moment might be a mere second that’s just too hard to snap because it happens so fast, or it can be an hour, but it’s an hour every fifty years or so. In any case, moments are precious because of this.

So, let’s consider one such precious, once-in-a-lifetime moment: the time this one owl decided to come chill on this one wildlife photographer’s photo lens. Yep, this exact thing happened to photographer Scott Dere, but thanks to the quick and tactful reflexes of photographer Beaumon Day, we now have a photo of it!

Imagine being a wildlife photographer and having the wildlife come to you like this?

Image credits: Beaumon Day

Photographers Beaumon Day, with whom Bored Panda got in touch, Brooke Bartleson, and Arthur Lefo were out in the wild looking to snap some pictures of great gray owls. The gang had just spent 2 hours hiking in the woods with no luck when they met Scott Dere of The Element of Nature, who was also out owlspotting.

After a short chat, they parted ways, but moments later, Scott called them over, hinting he’d spotted an owl “Scott was giving us a thumbs up from a couple hundred yards away (thanks Scott!). We couldn’t believe that he had just found an owl where we were! We went back and joined him and sure enough, there was a great gray owl perched about 10 feet off the ground in a pine tree—such camouflaged birds!” said Beau.

He continued: “We watched it for a few minutes when all of a sudden, the owl flew from its perch and headed straight towards Scott. It swooped up and landed on his lens and looked around. Scott turned around at me and gave an amazed look like “holy crap, are you serious right now?”

Photographer Beaumon Day recently had a unique chance of snapping pics of a very curious great gray owl

Image credits: Beaumon Day

Beau explained that the owl seemed like it was hunting, as it would look to the ground as if it was trying to see a small rodent or something else, or it would not move at all for a while, before it decided to join the crew. They spent another hour with the bird, watching it fly all around, trying to find some game, also landing on Brooke’s head, who afterwards collapsed to the ground in amazement.

“The owl was young, juvenile—you can tell by certain features on the owl, like the tail feathers, for example. I think, one, this young owl was just curious about these strange visitors in his neck of the woods and wanted to check us out. And two, he wasn’t threatened by us. I have had some awesome encounters with wildlife and sometimes you can just sense that they are comfortable and at ease with your presence and you kind of share a connection for that time you’re with them.”

The owl was comfortable with approaching humans as it landed on photographer Scott Dere’s camera lens and sat on photographer Brooke Bartleson’s head

Image credits: Beaumon Day

And this was all without any calling or baiting—Beau explained that they never do that with wildlife.

Now, if you’re not aware, owls are super good with camouflage. You can see that with Scott’s photo lens alone, so imagine the same except with a tree. This is certainly one of the biggest challenges in owl photography—finding them. Most owls tend to be out during nighttime, but some, like this one here, can be found frolicking in the wilderness during daytime—but still, mostly mornings and evenings

“Another challenge is capturing them flying—whatever type of bird it is. There is definitely technique involved when photographing birds in flight and it can be difficult on so many levels; following the bird as it’s flying and keeping it in the frame without cutting off the wings, making sure you have a fast enough shutter speed to get the bird sharp, etc.”

The whole photoshoot actually lasted about an hour with the owl doing a lot of fly-bys whilst hunting

Image credits: Beaumon Day

Image credits: Beaumon Day

But it’s definitely worth it. According to Beau, not only is it very rewarding to actually find the owl, but also the time spent with it and, obviously, being able to nail a nice shot of it in flight.

Beau loved the great outdoors from a very young age—being in nature, looking for animals, collecting things, etc. But his dedication to nature and wildlife really took off when he bought his first DSLR and decided to start taking it on hikes and backpacking. He felt like he had fallen in love with nature again.

Owls are nocturnal, plus their camo is great, so getting such a chance to photograph an owl is truly rare

Image credits: Beaumon Day

Image credits: Beaumon Day

The photo was an instant success online, garnering thousands upon thousands of likes on Facebook, and several photo news media outlets have covered it. And, needless to say, Beau was left surprised with how viral it really got as he didn’t even plan to post the photo anywhere:

“Scott Dere had reached out to me about sending him the photo just because it was such a cool experience—especially for him. So, I wanted to get that to him so he could have that to remember. He then posted it and from there, the photo has gone viral. It made me feel glad to see that people enjoyed the photo. That people see the connection that we have with nature and animals. That a photo like that of an owl not only letting us into its world but flying up and landing on us would be something that people think is amazing and interests them.”

Scott Dere, the “model” of the photo lens pic, ended up posting the pic online where it went viral immediately

Image credits: Beaumon Day

Image credits: Beaumon Day

He concluded: “We share these wild places with animals that were here first and it’s important we are good stewards of that. So, I think my photo shows this interaction; this connection we have with nature. At least I hope that would be the outcome—someone realizing we all have this connection with nature and hopefully being inspired to get out and enjoy the outdoors and the wildlife that call it home and make sure we are good stewards of it.”

What are your thoughts on this? Do you recall any amazing encounters with owls? Share your stories and thoughts in the comment section below!

Here’s how people reacted to this quite unique photoshoot