Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016

Swedish photographer Mats Andersson's image titles 'Requiem For An Owl' was the 2016 winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year in the black and white section. Every day in early spring, Mats walked in the forest near his home in Bashult, southern Sweden, enjoying the company of a pair of Eurasian pygmy owls – until the night he found one of them lying dead on the forest floor. Pygmy owls, with their distinctive rounded heads, lack of ear tufts, are the smallest owls in Europe, barely 19 centimetres (7½ inches) long, though with large feet that enable them to carry prey almost as big as themselves. They also hunt in the day. Nesting in tree cavities, especially in conifer woodland, they form pair bonds in autumn that last through to spring, sometimes for more than one breeding season. "The owl’s resting posture reflected my sadness for its lost companion," recalls Mats. Preferring to work in black, white – "it conveys the feeling better" – he captured the melancholy of the moment, framing the solitary owl within the bare branches, lit by the first light of dawn. Not long after, he found this owl dead, too, and suspects that it, its mate may have been killed by one of the larger owls in the forest, not for food but because, in the breeding season, it didn’t tolerate other birds of prey in its territory. Mats' equipment includes: Nikon D4 + 300mm f2.8 lens + 2x extender, 1/160 sec at f5.6 , ISO 400. - © Mats Andersson Wildlife Photographer of the Year - Wednesday 19th October 2016 (1 Picture)


Requiem For An Owl
Mats Andersson 
Sweden
Winner, Black, White
Every Day In Early Spring, Mats Walked In The Forest Near His Home In Bashult, Southern Sweden, Enjoying The Company Of A Pair Of Eurasian Pygmy Owls – Until The Night He Found One Of Them Lying Dead On The Forest Floor. Pygmy Owls, With Their Distinctive Rounded Heads, Lack Of Ear Tufts, Are The Smallest Owls In Europe, Barely 19 Centimetres (7½ Inches) Long, Though With Large Feet That Enable Them To Carry Prey Almost As Big As Themselves. They Also Hunt In The Day. Nesting In Tree Cavities, Especially In Conifer Woodland, They Form Pair Bonds In Autumn That Last Through To Spring, Sometimes For More Than One Breeding Season. ‘the Owl’s Resting Posture Reflected My Sadness For Its Lost Companion, ’ Recalls Mats. Preferring To Work In Black, White – ‘it Conveys The Feeling Better’ – He Captured The Melancholy Of The Moment, Framing The Solitary Owl Within The Bare Branches, Lit By The First Light Of Dawn. Not Long After, He Found This Owl Dead, Too, And Suspects That It, Its Mate May Have Been Killed By One Of The Larger Owls In The Forest, Not For Food But Because, In The Breeding Season, It Didn’t Tolerate Other Birds Of Prey In Its Territory.
Nikon D4 + 300mm F2.8 Lens + 2x Extender, 1/160 Sec At F5.6 and Iso 400. 1

Requiem For An Owl Mats Andersson Sweden Winner, Black, White Every Day In Early Spring, Mats Walked In The Forest Near His Home In Bashult, Southern Sweden, Enjoying The Company Of A Pair Of Eurasian Pygmy Owls – Until The Night He Found One Of Them Lying Dead On The Forest Floor. Pygmy Owls, With Their Distinctive Rounded Heads, Lack Of Ear Tufts, Are The Smallest Owls In Europe, Barely 19 Centimetres (7½ Inches) Long, Though With Large Feet That Enable Them To Carry Prey Almost As Big As Themselves. They Also Hunt In The Day. Nesting In Tree Cavities, Especially In Conifer Woodland, They Form Pair Bonds In Autumn That Last Through To Spring, Sometimes For More Than One Breeding Season. ‘the Owl’s Resting Posture Reflected My Sadness For Its Lost Companion, ’ Recalls Mats. Preferring To Work In Black, White – ‘it Conveys The Feeling Better’ – He Captured The Melancholy Of The Moment, Framing The Solitary Owl Within The Bare Branches, Lit By The First Light Of Dawn. Not Long After, He Found This Owl Dead, Too, And Suspects That It, Its Mate May Have Been Killed By One Of The Larger Owls In The Forest, Not For Food But Because, In The Breeding Season, It Didn’t Tolerate Other Birds Of Prey In Its Territory. Nikon D4 + 300mm F2.8 Lens + 2x Extender, 1/160 Sec At F5.6 and Iso 400.
Photo credit: Mats Andersson/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Supplied by


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