I have created quite a few of these extreme contrast photoshop edits now, and I quite like the look it gives. This Barn Owl was particularly suitable for such manipulation because the critter was fairly high contrast to start with.
This time I left a hint of color, and I like the added interest it gives to the shot.
For the sake of completeness I shall post up the original image at some point soon, but here is my (more traditional) black and white version. LINKY.