Photographer Amit Thakurta documented a Brown Hawk Owl (Ninox scutulata) seizing the shuttlecock while he and his friends were playing badminton on the evening of 29th December 2009 in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, India.
The images have been posted on the Bird Photography India and Delhibirdpix. Sumit K Sen of Kolkata posted the images in Birds of India and sent the link to KC Tsang after getting the permission of the photographer Amit Thakurta for BESG to repost them here. The account below is Amit’s story as told by Sumit.
“I would like to share an unusual experience with all of you. Some of my friends were playing badminton in a floodlit open court late in the evening. I was there and my camera was with me. Looking around, I saw a Brown Hawk Owl patiently watching the game from a nearby perch (above left).
“Suddenly, while the shuttlecock was in play, the bird made a sortie to catch the shuttle as if it was a prey species. However, it failed on this attempt and went back to the perch and continued observing the activity. This gave me the time to prepare my camera in anticipation of another try. And that attempt took place shortly afterward and the results are presented above.”
The top right image shows the owl seizing the shuttlecock; above left shows the owl flying off with the shuttlecock to its perch; and above right shows it manipulating the shuttlecock.