Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 04/10/2015

Photo taken on February 22, 2015

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front/side view
Glaucidium gnoma
Northern Pygmy-owl
Fish Creek Park
on the ground
bird of prey
caught a Meadow Vole

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Did anyone see what I caught?

Did anyone see what I caught?
On 22 February 2015, we got another chance to see the tiny, popcan-sized Northern Pygmy-owl in Fish Creek Park. When I arrived, people who had been there for some time had already found the owl, perched in a smallish tree, but within a very short time, it suddenly flew down to where we were standing, maybe six feet away from my feet. You can just see a bit of the little Meadow Vole it caught, hidden in the grass at the owl's feet. Have to smile at the look on this little owl's face, in this photo and in a previously posted shot. Not sure who was more surprised, the owl or the photographers - or the Meadow Vole!

"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.

On my way out of the park, an enormous flock of Bohemian Waxwings swarmed around the tall coniferous trees along the edge of the road. Hundreds of them landed at the tops of these trees and then they would swoop down to the snow-covered ground and eat the snow for a few seconds before flying to the other side of the road and back again.