Nature at its cruellest: Tiny field mouse pictured seconds before it is swooped on by a hunting snowy owl


Freeze-framing nature at its cruellest, these stunning photographs show a tiny field mouse - seconds before it is swooped on by a hunting snowy owl.

The jaw-dropping images were captured by photographer Hal Trachtenberg - who braved bone-chilling sub-zero temperatures from dawn until dusk to frame his favourite wild bird at its fiercest.

In his series of pictures hotel-worker Hal, 49, from Montreal, Canada, snapped several owls patrolling snow-covered fields near Saint Barthelemy, Quebec.

Freeze-framing nature at its cruelest

Freeze-framed: The snowy owl is inches away from the unsuspecting mouse

Freeze-framing nature at its cruelest

Closer and closer: The owl focuses in on its prey

Freeze-framing nature at its cruelest

Within touching distance: The mouse is unaware of the fate that is about to befall him

His patience finally paid off when one young adolescent male - less than a year old - pounced on the unlucky rodent in front of Hal.

He said: 'The little mouse didn't stand a chance. The owls are silent when they fly so it didn't know what hit it.' 

The bird's feathers are frayed and break up the air as they fly - meaning they make barely make a sound when travelling.

The snowy owls seen in Hal's pictures usually live high on the Arctic Tundra - on Canada's north coast - where they feed mainly on lemmings. 

Freeze-framing nature at its cruelest

Gotcha: The mouse feels the force of the owl as it makes contact

Freeze-framing nature at its cruelest

Up and away: The mouse's tail can be seen dangling from the owl's claws as the predator makes its escape

In flight: The snowy owls seen in Hal's pictures usually live high on the Arctic Tundra - on Canada's north coast - where they feed mainly on lemmings

In flight: The snowy owls seen in Hal's pictures usually live high on the Arctic Tundra - on Canada's north coast - where they feed mainly on lemmings


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