Amazing pictures show owl fighting kestrels for its dinner

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A PHOTOGRAPHER has captured a hungry owl wolfing down its dinner of freshly-caught vole – after fighting off a gang of kestrels.

The brown and white Short-eared owl was spotted on Wednesday in Kinross.

The hungry owl with its vole
The hungry owl with its vole

After losing out on three voles to the kestrels, the owl finally managed to bag a fourth for itself.

And, as Allan Brown’s pictures show, it didn’t waste time gulping down its catch.

The owl had to fend off a kestrel during its meal
The owl had to fend off a kestrel during its meal

In a matter of a few seconds, the vole – which is bigger than the bird’s head – was gone.

Allan, from Kirkcaldy, Fife, said he waited for hours every day for three weeks to capture the moment.

The owl as it wolfed down its lunch
The owl as it wolfed down its lunch

The 66-year-old said: “The owls don’t stay for long as they go back to Scandinavia and Russia.

“They’ve been hunting in the same area daily and that day he made four kills but a pair of kestrels came down and took them.

In a matter of seconds the vole had gone
In a matter of seconds the vole had gone

“They were all fighting but he finally got that vole on the fourth kill.

“The kestrels left him so they must have been full.”

In the UK, Short-eared owls breed primarily in Northern England and Scotland but are seen more widely during winter months.

They are currently of European conservation concern so are an Amber List species.

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