Hannie Heere, a 63-year-old photographer from Dordrecht, the Netherlands, was taking pictures of barn owls when she managed to capture an adorable moment of a baby barn owl running on the grass. Although Heere has always had an interest in photography, she began pursuing it more seriously after her children grew up and moved out. Starting in 2016, she took courses and workshops to enhance her skills, with a particular emphasis on nature and wildlife photography.
During one of her photography sessions on May 28th, Heere noticed a bold young barn owl in the vicinity. The owl chick had a soft, fluffy appearance with white down feathers, which would eventually be replaced by mature feathers as it grew older and ready to take flight.
Barn owlets begin flapping their wings at around seven weeks of age, gradually progressing to short flights around the nest by eight weeks. By the time they reach 10 weeks, they become proficient flyers and resemble adult barn owls in their appearance.
Prior to acquiring the skill of flight, baby owls engage in muscle development exercises. In the case of this specific baby owl, it had seemingly chosen to enhance its muscles by engaging in a little run.
Heere explained to PetaPixel, “I was lying on the ground. This young bird was unable to fly yet and showed no fear. I captured the photograph from a distance of approximately 5 to 6 meters (around 16 feet).”
Using her Canon 5D Mark IV DSLR and a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens, Heere took the photograph with the following settings: f/8 aperture, 1/1000s shutter speed, and ISO 200.
After Heere shared the photo online, it gained significant attention and went somewhat viral. It has been extensively shared across various social networks and even utilized in the form of memes.
“I was genuinely amazed by the level of popularity the photo achieved,” expressed Heere. While photography has been a hobby for her thus far, she admits that she would be thrilled to elevate her nature photography to a professional level and earn income from it.