Short-eared Owl, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Partha Sarkar

Picture Story

Sometimes we the civilised people, fail to understand to what extent the animal world can be violent and brutal. The ‘Darwin’s Survival of the Fittest’ seems to rule the jungle dome where the fittest is the king.
I tried to spot a short eared owl keeping myself protected behind the boughs of a tree. Apparently, I thought the bird was aiming to hide itself. But on close observation, I found the bird with its sharp claws holding its prey and at the same time looking around to watch if other birds were there to seize upon its prey.
I tried to understand by watching through the lens as to what the kind of prey the short eared owl was taking hold of with its sharp claws. Just the moment, it was another short eared owl came flying from the other branch of a nearby tree and sat behind the owl to set up his authority on it. The bird with its prey burrowed its razor-sharp beak on the prey. Just then the bird behind came near it targeting the prey. That was the time the fight for the prey might begin.
But no! It was disappointing for me to find the anticlimax confrontation. The first bird smelt out the appearance of its rival behind and moved quickly in the opposite direction and sat in a straight line at a distance in front of the lens of my camera.
I could hardly believe my eyes as I watched through my viewfinder, how the parent bird killed the weaker young short eared owl to feed the stronger one with its meat.
After I got aloof from the viewfinder, I found the short eared owl lay dispersed here and there detaching all its organs that had become the fodder of the parent short eared owl. It was so thrilling indeed.

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