This is a picture of a long eared owl taken at the Hawk Conservancy nr Andover in Hampshire.
Because I am so close to the bird and using a longish focal length of 300mm, the depth of field is quite shallow. It does give a nice smooth background though. It is vital in shots like this to have the eye in focus (the near eye if two are visible but it is not possible to get them both in focus).
The hard part of this shot was getting that close. A friendly falconer was the key. Once there, I stepped down to f/5.6 for a little more depth of field. If I had thought a bit more, I would have taken the ISO down to 500 and the shutter speed to 1/640 to match but I was rushed so used what I had already setup. It is a little noisy but not too bad.
Kit: Canon EOS 7D 70-300mm f/5.6 @ 1/1250s ISO 1000
More of my photos can be seen at FLICKR.