An owl takes wing from the ground in this eerie trail camera photo. Credit: Courtesy of Cliff Marchant

If Bangor Daily News reader Cliff Marchant had sent in just one trail camera photo, he could have started another cool chapter in our “mystery beast” franchise.

That photo is an eerie image of something — A spirit? An angel? Use your imagination — taking flight in front of Marchant’s trail camera in Lexington Township in western Maine.

“[That] one looks like something straight out of a Stephen King movie,” Marchant said.

Alas, he sent in two photos, and the mystery is quickly solved. Marchant pointed out the two glowing eyes of an owl sitting on the ground near a buck scrape in the other pic.

The two glowing eyes in the lower part of this trail camera photo belong to an owl, which is much more eerie when it takes wing six minutes later. Credit: Courtesy of Cliff Marchant

The photos were taken six minutes apart on Nov. 16. At first, the owl is on the ground. Then, it takes wing, flying straight at the camera. With the camera in its infrared setting, the bird is glowing.

It’s one of the more striking trail camera photos that readers have sent in thus far, to say the least.

If you’re an avid trail camera user who’d like to help those looking to capture images like these, we’re working on a story that will do just that. What do you look for in a camera? How much do you expect to pay? What features are essential? What kinds of mistakes did you make when you first put your cameras out, and how do you avoid those mistakes now? How about a recommendation for a good low-budget option? Or, what would you buy if money was not a concern?

Thanks in advance for your input!

Do you have a trail camera photo or video to share? Send it to and tell us “I consent to the BDN using my photo.” In order to prevent neighbors from stopping by to try to tag particularly large bucks, moose or bears, some identities and towns of origin may be omitted.

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John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...