A tourist visiting the Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria has had a very close encounter with a Barking Owl during a daily bird show at the wildlife haven.
During a “Spirits of the Sky” show, which features various birds of prey including Millie the owl, a Wedge-tailed Eagle and a Black-breasted Buzzard, guests are introduced to the various birds at the “flight arena” where they show off their skills of flight and foraging.
The show, which runs twice daily, caught one guest off guard as he took a video of the female Barking Owl during her flight.
The short clip, uploaded to Reddit, shows the owl take flight before gliding over unsuspecting visitors to the show.
In slow motion, the stunning creature locks eyes on the camera as it hurtles towards the lens.
The 30-second video, has had more than 4k views.
Barking owls are named for their harsh “barking” call but can also make a much louder, wailing cry, which has given rise to another name, the “screaming-woman bird”. The species are widely distributed throughout Australia, but are absent from central areas.
Typically, they feed on a variety of small to medium-sized mammals, birds, reptiles and insects. Most hunting is performed in the first few hours of the night and the last hours before dawn.
News.com.au has contacted the videographer for comment.