By Keith

LifeBuzz Staff

The Owls Are Challenging You To A Staring Contest… You Will Lose.

Brad Wilson studied visual arts at the University of North Carolina, where he worked for many years photographing models and celebrities. Brad decided he wanted another challenge and chose to photograph animals.

He soon discovered that animals can not be directed to pose for a shoot, and it is up to the photographer to wait for the animal to present itself. The stunning photos below were taken at the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis, and The Wildlife Center in Española, New Mexico. Each shot took hours to capture the desired face-to-face picture Brad wanted.

A lot of the owls that Brad used as subjects were from sanctuaries, and often had broken wings or injuries. He hid these injuries in his shots, as well as the bird's handler, in order to consider the bird's feelings. He says "it’s hard to get animals to look at you like humans do. That shot became my holy grail.”

I think Brad's patience was well rewarded with the amazing photos below. What do you see when you look into the eyes of these magnificent birds?

Eurasian Eagle-Owl

This owl's average height is 19-23" and is found throughout Europe and Asia.

Great Horned Owl

The Great Horned Owl can be as tall as 2 feet, and resides in all of continental North America and much of South America.

Long-eared Owl

It reaches a height of 15" and resides in North America, Europe, Asia, and in North Africa.

Western Screech-Owl

The average size is 7-9" tall, and is found in southeastern Alaska, through western Canada, and the western U.S. to central Mexico.

Eastern Screech Owl

The Eastern Screech Owl averages between 6-10" tall, and lives in the U.S., east of the Rocky Mountains.

Spectacled Owl

The Spectacled Owl can be up to 18" tall and lives in Mexico, Central America and the northern 2/3 of South America.

Flammulated Owl

This little owl only reaches a height of 6". In the summer it can be found in southwestern Canada, through the western U.S.

Mexican Spotted Owl

This owl reaches a height of 18", and lives in Mexico, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado.

Barn Owl

The Barn Owl can be up to 15" tall, and nests on 6 continents.

Stunning photographs of owls... of all the owls in this post, only the Mexican Spotted Owl is considered a threatened species.

Source: Audubon