Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 04/08/2015


Photo taken on January 31, 2015


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Keywords

nature
Excellence
AvianExcellence
Calgary
Fish Creek Park
Northern Pygmy-owl
Glaucidium gnoma
popcan-sized
fist-sized
side/front view
Alberta
Canada
avian
snow
birds
bird
branch
bird of prey
owl
bushes
ornithology
perched
snow-covered branches


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Northern Pygmy-owl on snowy branch

Northern Pygmy-owl on snowy branch
Called in at the local park in the afternoon of 31 January 2015, for maybe an hour. That was all I could stand, it was SO cold, plus most of the area was then in the shade. It was only -13C (windchill -15C), but it felt so much colder than that. I wasn't sure whether I was going to be able to go, as both my front car door locks had frozen solid and I had to wait for the lock de-icer spray to hopefully work.

Friends who had been there for much longer told me that the tiny Northern Pygmy-owl had been high in the trees the whole time they had been there. While I was there, we had a few moments when the owl flew down into the bushes - a mass of tangled branches that result in a "messy" photo, but still better than none. If you were lucky, you might find a small gap with no branches in front of the owl. It had snowed two nights earlier, so it made a change to see the bird in a snowy setting. My point-and-shoot has 48X zoom - this shot was taken at Focal Length (35mm format) - 1200 mm.

"The Northern Pygmy-Owl may be tiny, but it’s a ferocious hunter with a taste for songbirds. These owls are mostly dark brown and white, with long tails, smoothly rounded heads, and piercing yellow eyes. They hunt during the day by sitting quietly and surprising their prey. As a defensive measure, songbirds often gather to mob sitting owls until they fly away. Mobbing songbirds can help you find these unobtrusive owls, as can listening for their call, a high-pitched series of toots." From AllAboutBirds.

www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Pygmy-Owl/id

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_pygmy_owl

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