The great skyjacking

This once in a lifetime sequence of pictures captures the moment that a kestrel wrestled a vole from the clutches of a hungry barn owl. Captured by nature photographer Brian MacFarlane on a farm in Colby, Norfolk, they show the kestrel closing in from afar before engaging in the mid-air tussle.

This once in a lifetime sequence of pictures captures the moment that a kestrel wrestled a vole from the clutches of a hungry barn owl.

Captured by nature photographer Brian MacFarlane on a farm in Colby, Norfolk, they show the kestrel closing in from afar before engaging in the mid-air tussle.

Mr MacFarlane, who has been taking nature pictures since 1968, said the battle was over in a matter of seconds. “It was all a blur but I just kept taking pictures and when I checked afterwards I realised I had caught the whole chain of events,” he said.

“I had been following the owl throughout the day as it carried food to a nearby barn. I have seen kestrel harass owls before, trying to get them to drop the food, but this is the first time I have seen something like this.”


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The pictures were taken using a Canon 350-D with a 100 to 400 zoom, a shutter speed of 200th of a second and a 6.3 aperture.

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