Also known as the Australian Masked Owl, this is one very special bird.
The photograph is pin sharp and the owl looks fantastic in the early morning sunlight of the outback. Wildflowers in the background with greenery make this one of my top 10 photographs for this month. Probably for the year as well.
Barn Owls in the outback at one stage were critically endangered at one stage, due to human activity. Owles eat up to 30 rodents a day and well over 1000 in a year. Making them very good pest controllers. However, poisons took a huge impact on them due to secondary poisoning. Overall due to modern pest control, their numbers have started improving. However, we have a long way to go with their population. Today there are a very rare bird, and I have not seen many in my lifetime. Let alone one this close in daylight.