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A field scientist and conservationist tracks the elusive Blakiston's Fish Owl in the forbidding reaches of eastern RussiaI saw my first Blakiston's fish owl in the Russian province of Primorye, a coastal talon of land hooking south into the belly of Northeast Asia . . . No scientist had seen a Blakiston's fish owl so far south in a hundred years, and my photographs were evidence that this rare, reclusive species still persisted.When he was still just a fledgling birdwatcher, Jonathan C. Slaght had a chance encounter with one of the most mysterious birds on Earth. Bigger than any owl he knew, it looked like a small bear with feathers. He wrote to experts. He started tagging along on walks through the lush, remote forest of eastern Russia. The first sighting sent him on a five-year journey to study these enormous, enigmatic creatures and set his calling as a scientist.

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