A photo is a moment in time, but as soon as you attach a story to that photograph it takes on a new dimension. Pixels are pixels, until you attach meaning to them—then they become something more.

This portrait of an owl named “Clack” is a perfect example that we stumbled on just yesterday morning. Captured by 500pxer Sandra L, she shared the story behind the photo this morning in reply to a comment I left.

Clack is a young Barred Owl. About 5 weeks when I took this picture. Orphaned with his siblings, they were all brought to the World Bird Sanctuary hospital/rehab with the intention of raising them all for eventual release.

It didn’t take long to observe that Clack was different. The vets determined that he is nearly blind. His right eye is stronger and so he keeps his head tilted to give that eye the advantage. With vision that impaired, he was deemed unreleasable and removed from rehab. He is learning very quickly that humans are his friends and he has taken to our handling him very well. He still ferociously clacks his beak in response to us hence the name. He’s completely sweet and adorable and is well on his way to becoming a wonderful education bird.

A tilted head, a good heart, and a clacking beak. The portrait means a little something more now when we look at it. A big thank you goes out to Sandra for taking the time share this story!

To see more from Sandra, follow her on 500px or give her a Like on Facebook.