By Mikey Jones
This owl looks like he’s playing a game of peek-a-TWOO.
Launching itself from its perch on a snowbank the snowy owl almost looks as if it is trying to hide behind its wings.
However, its piercing yellow eyes quickly become visible again as it stretches its wings and takes to the skies.
The owl was pictured by vet and internal medicine specialist Sue Dougherty from Bend, Oregon.
Sue, 60, said: “I was on a small photography trip to photography snowy owls as they winter in Alberta and all across Canada.
“They leave the arctic tundra in the winter to hunt and then return to the tundra in early spring to nest.
“Snowys hunt will sit on snow mounds, which is what this one was doing.
“They have a rather predictable set of actions for take-off and this one took off and flew directly at us.
“This particular owl was pretty tolerant of us, and as a small group of five people we lay prone on the snow and waited.
“The owl was much more comfortable with us lying down and so it was pretty cold. That was a challenge.
“Part of my goal in wildlife photography is to bring the animals to people that would never see or know of them.
“If seeing an image like this makes someone realize that the arctic is the reason these fantastic creatures live and that it is worth protecting and not drilling and destroying then I have done a little good for the world.”