Can you find the owl?
Little owls don't intentionally hide. But because of their coloring and their small frame, they seem to melt into the places they like to perch -- rock walls, for example -- vanishing into their surroundings and remaining concealed to all but the most skilled observers.
It's a fitting metaphor given that Villager Jim, the man who took their photos in the series above, remains hidden himself, and deliberately so. "They seek him here, they seek him there, but that elusive Villager Jim, cannot be found anywhere," the photographer writes on his website bio page.
Villager Jim catalogues the wildlife and nature of Peak District in the United Kingdom, which spans Cheshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire in northwest England. Though he prides himself on showing off his beloved countryside, he doesn't want his identity known. In fact, when he spoke to weather.com, he wouldn't provide anything but the moniker "Villager Jim."
Though we don't know Villager Jim's reasons for keeping his identity on the DL, we like to think it's to give the wildlife and Mother Nature top billing. He certainly has a knack for capturing little owls.
Can you spot the birds in the pictures above? While you're sharpening your observation skills, chew on these facts about the owls: Though the birds aren't threatened, populations of these smallest of UK owls dropped 24 percent between 1995 and 2008, according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. There are some 5,700 breeding pairs left in the United Kingdom.
Sure, unearthing the birds is meant to be fun, a nice way to pass a few minutes before the weekend rolls around. But as Villager Jim puts it, the photography "speaks volumes" about his love for the creatures. And like Villager Jim asks of those who discover his identity, we too ask for those who uncover the owls: "If you find out [where they are] ... shhh, don't tell anyone!"
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