Jack Sullivan and I photographed owls in northern Minnesota last weekend. We used bait to bring them in and to get flight shots of the owls hunting the mice we set out.
The mice we bought at the Petco store were white. So...how far do you guess an owl can see a white mouse against white snow! We had fed one owl and it took the mouse back a little ways into a woods. So we set up on a different owl and set out our white mouse bait. The original owl was about 45 degrees off to our left. We were intently watching the new owl, hoping for him to spot our mouse. Then at one point the new owl looked in our direction and turned his head very slowly, almost like a panning action with a scope on a tripod. Off to my left I saw movement and noticed an owl flying away...just 20 yards or so from where we had set out the mouse. This is what our new owl had been watching.
I looked 30 yards out and could no longer see our mouse. We had been watching the new owl through the viewfinders of our camera and its powerful lens. I started getting suspicious and trudged out to find our bait. It was gone. The old owl had snuck in and stole our bait from the new owl.
So...how far do you think the owl came to get the white mouse on the white snow?