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Photographer Sven Začek was stalking moose in a frozen Estonian forest when he saw his first Ural owl. Looking into her black eyes was the beginning of an obsession which has lasted for nearly two decades.

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Ural owl (Strix uralensis) in flight, hunting, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. February. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) in flight, hunting, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. February.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) hunting, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) hunting, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) preening, Alam-Pedja Nature Reserve, southern Estonia. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) preening, Alam-Pedja Nature Reserve, southern Estonia.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) in flight, hunting, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. February. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) in flight, hunting, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. February.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) feeding on vole in snow, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. March. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) feeding on vole in snow, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. March.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) perched on snow covered branch, in woodland. Winter, Estonia. - Sven Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) perched on snow covered branch, in woodland. Winter, Estonia.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) feeding on vole, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. MArch. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) feeding on vole, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. MArch.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis)with common frog prey, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. March. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis)with common frog prey, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. March.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) perched in tree sleeping, viewed through a fence, Estonia. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) perched in tree sleeping, viewed through a fence, Estonia.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) perching on an old spruce tree in red evening light, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. May. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) perching on an old spruce tree in red evening light, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. May.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) perched in Aspen tree in summer. Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. May. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) perched in Aspen tree in summer. Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. May.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) perching on an Apsen tree during the blue hour of dawn, Tartumaa, Estonia, April. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) perching on an Apsen tree during the blue hour of dawn, Tartumaa, Estonia, April.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) in flight,  Tartu County, Estonia. March. Second Place in the Portfolio category of the Terre Sauvage Nature Images Awards 2017. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) in flight, Tartu County, Estonia. March. Second Place in the Portfolio category of the Terre Sauvage Nature Images Awards 2017.
Low angle shot of Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female returning to its nest at night. Southern Estonia, May. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Low angle shot of Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female returning to its nest at night. Southern Estonia, May.
Male Ural owl (Strix uralensis) courtship feeding the female in darkness, Southern Estonia, March. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Male Ural owl (Strix uralensis) courtship feeding the female in darkness, Southern Estonia, March.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) in nest in forest habitat, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. May. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) in nest in forest habitat, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. May.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female snoozing on nest at dusk. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. March. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female snoozing on nest at dusk. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. March.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) nest with egg in old Birch (Betula sp) tree, view from above. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. May. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) nest with egg in old Birch (Betula sp) tree, view from above. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. May.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) nest tree which has fallen down after a storm. Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. February. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) nest tree which has fallen down after a storm. Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. February.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) male presenting prey to nesting mate. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. April. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) male presenting prey to nesting mate. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. April.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) in flight with prey for mate in beak. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. April. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) in flight with prey for mate in beak. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. April.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female on nest, male landing with twig in beak. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. April. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female on nest, male landing with twig in beak. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. April.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female on the nest in evening light, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. May. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female on the nest in evening light, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. May.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) flying to nest with rodent prey, Tartu County, Estonia. May. Second Place in the Portfolio category of the Terre Sauvage Nature Images Awards 2017. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) flying to nest with rodent prey, Tartu County, Estonia. May. Second Place in the Portfolio category of the Terre Sauvage Nature Images Awards 2017.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) landing on branch to be fed by mate, Tartu County, Estonia. April Second Place in the Portfolio category of the Terre Sauvage Nature Images Awards 2017. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) landing on branch to be fed by mate, Tartu County, Estonia. April Second Place in the Portfolio category of the Terre Sauvage Nature Images Awards 2017.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female flying with prey in beak. Flying back to nest in evening light. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. May. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female flying with prey in beak. Flying back to nest in evening light. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. May.
Portrait of a female Ural owl (Strix uralensis) Southern Estonia, May. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Portrait of a female Ural owl (Strix uralensis) Southern Estonia, May.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) pair, one on nest and another perched in tree in background. Tartu County, Estonia. May. Second Place in the Portfolio category of the Terre Sauvage Nature Images Awards 201... - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) pair, one on nest and another perched in tree in background. Tartu County, Estonia. May. Second Place in the Portfolio category of the Terre Sauvage Nature Images Awards 201...
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female sleeping on nest in falling snow. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. April. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female sleeping on nest in falling snow. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. April.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female on the nest feeding a very young nestling in snowfall, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. May. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female on the nest feeding a very young nestling in snowfall, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. May.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) nestling sleeping with food next to it, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. May. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) nestling sleeping with food next to it, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. May.
Ural owl chick (Strix uralensis), begging for food at nest entrance. Alam-Pedja Nature Reserve, southern Estonia - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl chick (Strix uralensis), begging for food at nest entrance. Alam-Pedja Nature Reserve, southern Estonia
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female feeding her young with part of  a pellet it has regurgitated. Estonia, May. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female feeding her young with part of a pellet it has regurgitated. Estonia, May.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female on the nest with nestling hidden under wing. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. April. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female on the nest with nestling hidden under wing. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. April.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female and nestling in evening light. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. May. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female and nestling in evening light. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. May.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) chick standing on edge of nest in tree stump stretching wings, Tartu County, Estonia. April. Second Place in the Portfolio category of the Terre Sauvage Nature Images Awards... - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) chick standing on edge of nest in tree stump stretching wings, Tartu County, Estonia. April. Second Place in the Portfolio category of the Terre Sauvage Nature Images Awards...
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) nestling, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. May. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) nestling, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. May.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female perching on spruce branch and stretching its wings, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. May. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female perching on spruce branch and stretching its wings, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. May.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female interacting with chick on nest. Southern Estonia. May. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female interacting with chick on nest. Southern Estonia. May.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female perched on spruce branch preening itself, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. May. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female perched on spruce branch preening itself, Tartumaa county, Southern Estonia. May.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female taking off from Spruce (Picea sp) branch with prey in beak, in evening light. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. May. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) female taking off from Spruce (Picea sp) branch with prey in beak, in evening light. Tartumaa, Southern Estonia. May.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) chick stretching wings on branch, Tartu County, Estonia. Second Place in the Portfolio category of the Terre Sauvage Nature Images Awards 2017. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) chick stretching wings on branch, Tartu County, Estonia. Second Place in the Portfolio category of the Terre Sauvage Nature Images Awards 2017.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) chick trying to climb an aspen tree with its beak, talons and wings, Southern Estonia. June. Sequence 4 of 11 - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) chick trying to climb an aspen tree with its beak, talons and wings, Southern Estonia. June. Sequence 4 of 11
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) chick trying to climb an aspen tree with its beak, talons and wings, Southern Estonia. June. Sequence 5 of 11 - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) chick trying to climb an aspen tree with its beak, talons and wings, Southern Estonia. June. Sequence 5 of 11
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) chick trying to climb an aspen tree with its beak, talons and wings, Southern Estonia. June. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) chick trying to climb an aspen tree with its beak, talons and wings, Southern Estonia. June.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) chick trying to climb an aspen tree with its beak, talons and wings, Southern Estonia. June. Sequence 6 of 11 - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) chick trying to climb an aspen tree with its beak, talons and wings, Southern Estonia. June. Sequence 6 of 11
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) chick trying to climb an aspen tree with its beak, talons and wings, Southern Estonia. June. - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) chick trying to climb an aspen tree with its beak, talons and wings, Southern Estonia. June.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis) chick trying to climb an aspen tree with its beak, talons and wings, Southern Estonia. June. Sequence 10 of 11 - Sven  Zacek
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Sven Zacek / Ural owl (Strix uralensis) chick trying to climb an aspen tree with its beak, talons and wings, Southern Estonia. June. Sequence 10 of 11
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