Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 01/20/2016


Photo taken on February 24, 2015


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Keywords

nature
Calgary
side view
FZ200
annkelliott
Anne Elliott
Fish Creek Park
Northern Pygmy-owl
Glaucidium gnoma
popcan-sized
fist-sized
Alberta
Canada
avian
bokeh
winter
bird
outdoor
tiny
bird of prey
owl
ornithology
fence post
perched
24 February 2015


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Fond memories of a popcan-sized owl

Fond memories of a popcan-sized owl
All three photos posted this morning are from my archives. Our forecast is for snow today, so I thought I would post photos with colour.

Almost a year ago, on 24 February 2015, I called in at Fish Creek Park to see if anyone had been able to find the tiny (less than 6" in length) Northern Pygmy-owl(s). I was in luck and, although the light was bad, the little owls put on quite a performance. This included a few things that I had missed on other days, such as perched on a fence post and both owls very briefly sitting on a branch, side by side (got a couple of really bad shots from behind, but I did post ne ages ago, just for the record). There were long periods of waiting in between the various bits of activity, so one needs a huge amount of patience : )

This photo was taken shortly before I left the park, after watching and waiting and hoping that this little female would eventually fly down and catch a Meadow Vole. Instead, she simply flew over to a fence post, which in itself was a real treat. I love the background colour from patches of dead leaves still hanging on the bushes.

"Northern Pygmy Owls are 'sit and wait' predators, that hunt mainly by vision, diving down onto prey on the ground and driving the talons into the prey's throat. They will also attack birds in shrubs, crashing into the hapless victims. Most prey is carried off in the feet to feeding sites. Birds are usually plucked before being consumed. They often eat only the brains of birds and the soft abdomen of insects. One of these little owls can carry prey weighing up to 3 times its own weight.

The Northern Pygmy Owl feeds on a wide range of small prey including small mammals, birds, and reptiles and amphibians. Voles make up the bulk of their diet, with birds comprising most of the rest (mainly songbirds, but as large as a California Quail). Other small mammals include shrews, mice, chipmunks, bats, moles, young rabbits, and weasels. Insects may be very important when they are most abundant. Other prey taken are toads, frogs and small lizards and snakes.

During winter, surplus prey is cached in a cavity, often in large quantities. Summer caches are usually much smaller.

Pellets are very small, averaging about 3cm long. They are formed only occasionally as these owls don't consume large amounts of fur, feathers, or bone. The pellets tend to fall apart shortly after ejection." From OwlPages.

www.owlpages.com/owls.php?genus=Glaucidium&species=ca...

Rol/photo, Frode Øen, ~~~, Chrissy and 6 other people have particularly liked this photo


7 comments - The latest ones
Malik Raoulda
Malik Raoulda
Vu et admiré avec plaisir au
www.ipernity.com/group/oiseaux_monde
19 months ago.
Pam J
Pam J
Oh this is a perfect photo Anne !
18 months ago.
Anne Elliott
Anne Elliott
Malik and Pam, thank you both so much!
18 months ago.
Anne-Marie(Minus)
Anne-Marie(Minus)
Magnifique image ...
18 months ago.
Jan Klimczak
Jan Klimczak
Wspaniały portret!
18 months ago.
Anne Elliott
Anne Elliott
Anne-Marie and Jan, many thanks for taking a look.
18 months ago.
Rol/photo
Rol/photo
Excellente prise..!
18 months ago.