So, some people chase birds, twitchers they're called; some folks just keep their eyes open and get really lucky. My friends Paul and Polly Wren are just such people. Last week another friend, Deb, brought a birding-group down for the day; planning to visit my place for the Rosy-Finches, Paul & Polly's home for Pinyon Jays and to drive around the area looking for other delicious goodies we might find. But you heard all about that in my previous post. Unfortunately, Paul and Polly Wren were not with us when Leslie spotted the tiny Northern Pygmy-Owl; owls are a nemesis for Polly, she says.
However, their work takes them back and forth along the same road where we saw the tiny owl; and of course both keep their eyes peeled. While at first wondering what a pine-cone was doing in a deciduous tree (you know how the mind works); it turns out they found a Northern Pygmy-Owl! Some say 're-located', some say found...neither of us care except to say that maybe Polly Wren has lost her nemesis and finally saw a tiny owl close to home.
[Addendum: Can you imagine how hard it is to spot a tiny bird, much smaller than a robin, while driving down the highway?]
But, speaking of luck, they were some nine miles from home and without cameras. They raced home and back and could not believe their continued luck as the gorgeous little owl was still there 20 minutes later... and stayed for another 20 minutes while they photographed it. It was a new Huerfano County bird for both of them... and they've shared their pictures with us.
If you want to look for the owl, please exercise caution. It was perched directly over Hwy 12 close to mile marker 13. This can be a very busy road that some enjoy driving quite fast. It was on a "blind corner" so they parked a little further beyond in a wide spot near a drive-way and walked back to shoot the bird. Of course, they only hunt with cameras!
As an aside, I thought I'd post this lovely, intimate shot of one of the local deer and her growing youngster... a sweet moment. These two images are from Jeannie Mitchell.
I can't believe I'm posting this...I've gotten so blasted fat and next to slim-trim Polly Wren, I look huge. I don't suppose I can blame it on being closer to the camera, huh? Jeannie took the shot as we were leaving Polly's house; we'd been tromping through knee-deep snow drifts, Polly had been at home snug as a bug in a rug...in sandals.
Photos: Northern Pygmy-Owl by P. Neldner, deer and Polly & me by Jeannie Mitchell