The amazing set of pictures of one of Britain’s iconic hunters was taken by an amateur wildlife snapper in Norfolk.
Vince Burton, 40, who works as an accountant, began feeding mice on a small piece of land belonging to a local farmer.
He was intending to attract kestrels that he had seen hunting there, but ended up with a barn owl moving in.
Gradually he introduced a hide and began taking pictures of the owl feeding.
Vince said: “Last year I asked a local farmer if I could gain access to a small piece of land that he was not cultivating as I had seen a kestrel hunting there.
“I began to feed the mice, hoping that if they were in the field and feeding, this would bring in the predators that hunt them.
“This was indeed successful, but not with the kestrel which I had planned. Instead a barn owl took up residence, hunting from the posts I provided.
“I have slowly over a period of time introduced a hide and then eventually a camera and gained a glimpse into this birds’ life.
“Every evening as dusk approaches, I rush home and sneak into my hide, waiting for her to arrive and watch patiently as she quarters up and down the meadow and along the hedgerow.
“It is a real privilege to see this bird up so close, and a real bonus now that over a period of months, she allows me to photograph her.”
According to the Barn Owl Trust, numbers dived by 70% between 1932 and 1985 as traditional barns were replaced and rat poison took its toll on the bird of prey.
The population has stabilised recently, but Vince says we could do more to help them.
He said: “I cannot recommend this enough, provide them with a home or habitat and they will come.
“Barn owls like so much of our wildlife is struggling to survive and this help, leaving a small piece of grassland uncut can really benefit them.
“However I feel that I am the real winner, as this is such an easy thing to do, to provide wildlife with the right habitat which it needs not only to survive, but to thrive and raise its family.
“The reward is almost too much for words, to share a small part of its life, watching it at such close quarters whilst learning about its behaviour and its fight to survive.”
He added: “The bird is young as I suspected, ringed in the nest last July in Essex, 79km away.
“This is how far she’s had to travel to find her own territory.”