EYE spy an owl! Sneaky bird of prey find the perfect camouflage while sleeping on a tree… but is spotted when she pops open her peepers
- Blake Hess, 47, has been following the behaviour of Eastern Screech owls for five years in Colorado, US
- Captured one camouflaging in a tree cavity to protect its eggs against predators, earlier this year
- Eastern Screech owl hides itself into bark with their reddish tone of fur and patterned bands on their bodies
These incredible pictures show a speckled owl almost invisible in plain sight as it protects its nest in a tree.
Blake Hess, 47, captured the stunning animal’s camouflage technique in Colorado, US, after following the family of owls for five years.
The delivery driver snapped up the Eastern Screech Owl which was hiding away in the tree’s crevasse to defend itself from predators.
Its colours mimic the tree’s bark and a beady eye can be seen peering into the camera’s lens.
Blake Hess, 47, captured an owl’s camouflage technique in Colorado, US, after spending five years observing the same family of owls for five years
At first glance, the owl cannot be seen at all and its body is curled inside the tree with its distinct feathers peering out from the side of the branch
People have been left baffled by the animal which Blake said it had spent most of its day sitting on its eggs and looking after them
Blake told the Sun: ‘These are the photos we all dream of. Finding this nest site and these small eastern screech owls is very difficult but when you do it really pays off.
‘This is why I photograph these special situations, so I can share them with other people who love nature.’
He said the owl had been sitting on her eggs all day and will ‘come out and stretch’ before sitting low as she nurtures her babies.
The owl camouflaged itself while resting nestled inside a tree in Colorado when Blake stumbled across it, earlier this year
Blake watched the same pair for years and observed their behaviour while learning how they ‘survive in the world today’.
He was thrilled to capture the peacefully resting animal, earlier this year.
Eastern Screech owls are short and stocky birds with distinct pointed ear tuffs. Their mostly grey or reddish tone of fur with bands of pattern make them perfectly camouflage against tree bark.
Alongside owls ability to hide in plain sight, they can hear up to 10 times better than humans and two types of feathers which help them fly and snare their prey.
Their eggs are laid individually every one to two days but this becomes more erratic after the first few are hatched. They are born blind and only have a thin coat of natal down so their mother’s can be extremely protective.
Blake returned to same nesting spot where he managed to capture the Eastern Screech owls. The species is distinct with pointed ear tufts which are often raised
The speckled and complex bands and patterns make the Eastern Screech amazing camouflage against tree bark
Blake said these photos ‘we all dream of’ and persisting to get the perfect shot ‘really pays off’. He was overjoyed at capturing the owl who was hidden inside a tree cavity and then perched on top of the tree and in front of the camera