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Monday, April 23, 2012

T'wit-two, three, four...: Once-in-a-lifetime picture of baby owls all looking straight down the lens

By Lawrence Conway

They say never work with animals or children, but one amateur photographer has brilliantly disproved the theory by showing that with skill, persistence and a bit of luck it is possible to get the perfect shot.

Computer scientist Maurizio Malagoli was visiting a wildlife rehabilitation centre, in Modena, Italy, when he fell in love with a group of little owls who were being readied for release back into the wild.

He managed to capture five of the birds all looking the same way after they were startled by the sound of an earlier picture being taken.

Look: The five owls all focus on the photographer allowing him to capture the perfect picture

Mr Malagoli, 36, from Modena, said: "That day I knew they would release some little owls, so I wore camouflage and waited them to fly off.

'I had to wait about a couple of hours before a group of birds were close enough to be photographed. At the first shot all their eyes turned to the direction of the camera shutter sound.

'Looking into the lens I saw nothing but yellow eyes looking at me with a curious expression. Now the owls have become my favourite bird, although in Italy they are considered unlucky.'

Sight: The photographer was caught by surprise when he looked through the camera lens and saw a perfect line of eyes staring back at him

Flight: The little owls were cautiously preparing to return to the wild when they were captured on camera

The little owl breed are usually grows to about 25cm tall and is most commonly found in the warmer parts of Europe, Asia to the east of Korea and north Africa.

The animal sanctuary which released the owls is the largest in Italy and based at Modena which is near the city of Bologna in the north of the country.

Wounded animals and birds including wrens, ospreys, tortoises and wild boar from within a 300km radius of the centre have been brought in for treatment and rehabilitation.

Luck: Although the birds are considered unlucky in Italy they are now the favourite of the amateur photographer who took these pictures



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