Longmont photographer wins big with ‘Ninja Prairie Dog’ pic

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Posted at 9:13 AM, Dec 02, 2021

LONGMONT — Art Trevino takes wildlife photography seriously. But a recent one-in-a-million photo took the seriousness out of his hobby.

“Everything just lined up perfectly to get this shot,” Trevino said.

He described the scene back in March after a big snowstorm. He was photographing eagles in a snow-covered field.

“I’m clicking away and followed him all the way to the ground,” he said about the eagle, which was hunting a prairie dog.

That’s when the unexpected happened, and Art caught it on camera.

“The prairie dog turns around and actually lunges at the eagle,” he said.

The tiny animal’s paws were up, its claws were out, in a true David versus Goliath matchup.

“He was actually going to attack this eagle, I couldn’t believe it,” Art said. “In all my years of photographing, this was a one-in-a-million shot.”

First, came the reaction to the photo.

“Without exception, everybody laughs. That’s their first reaction,” he said.

Then came the recognition. The photo, titled “Ninja Prairie Dog,” took home honors in the international Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, topping the Creatures on Land category. Denver7 asked Art where the photo ranks for him.

“No. 1, obviously. I’ve taken hundreds of pictures of raptors and eagles and wildlife. Some are funny, some are unique. If I never get another shot like this again I’ll be satisfied. I’ll die a happy guy,” Art said.

As for the prairie dog in the photo, just inches away from the eagle, it did not die.

“(Lunging at the eagle) gave the prairie dog enough time to scurry off and escape into one of his burrows,” Art said.

To see more of Art’s works, click here.