In a territorial skirmish between a barn owl and a kestrel, who's your money on?

The birds came to blows over the residential rights to a cosy nest box, which is a prized commodity in the avian world. The entire battle was captured by a camera set up in the nest by wildlife enthusiast and prominent artist Robert E Fuller on his farm in the tiny English village of Thixendale.

"I have 12 secret cameras hidden in nest boxes in and around my garden and the grounds of my art gallery in North Yorkshire," he explains. The area around the property is surrounded by fields teeming with wildlife, and Fuller's other nest boxes are occupied by an assortment of avian residents, including owls, kestrels, blackbirds, robins and even a pheasant hen.

And in case you're wondering whether you backed the right contender, Fuller adds: "The two birds of prey repeatedly lunged at each other in the battle, which was eventually won by the barn owl. The kestrel has meanwhile moved to another nest box."

"The barn owl doesn't look very powerful against the clever kestrel, but those long claws are very powerful and have a very long reach," he notes. After the hour-long battle, the victor wasted no time making himself at home, and was quickly joined by a female owl interested in sharing his new digs.

Check out Fuller's website and blog for more nest cam gems. 

Image: Leo Reynolds, Flickr