Aerial Hijack

A photographer from East Anglia recently captured some amazing photographs of an unusual aerial hijack - a Kestrel stealing food from a Barn Owl on the wing! 

The audacious heist was recorded by photographer Chris Skipper over the Norfolk Broads near Wroxham. 


Chris said: ”After watching the Barn Owl spend a good 30 minutes hunting for prey, it was returning to its chicks with food when a Kestrel decided he wanted the kill. The Kestrel just came from out of nowhere and attacked him.”

At first the Barn Owl seemed unaware of the intruder’s presence but before long the Kestrel was attempting to wrench the prey - probably a vole - from the Barn Owl's talons. There was a brief tussle and at one point they both had hold of the prey, but the kestrel eventually won the day. 


Not long after, Chris was able to photograph the Barn Owl out hunting again.


Chris is curator and contributor to the popular Norwich Peregrines website, which showcases his wonderful images of the peregrines who roost and breed in the tower of the city's cathedral. “I try to get down to the cathedral once a week, weather permitting, to keep a digital 'diary' of the peregrines throughout the year.”

If you’d like to see a selection of Chris’s other superb bird photography, visit his website here.

All images © Chris Skipper