Monday, 9 December 2013

Northern Pygmy Owl (20131207) supplemental post

I may be going off the deep end here with a post of just one bird, but I have been chasing this little unit for quite a while, and since it was nice enough to present us with an opportunity, I thought I might as well pay tribute :)
This first shot is very similiar to the one in the original post. In this shot you get a peek at the "false eyes" that this owl has on the back of its head.
As I mentioned in the original post, this was very late in the day (after 4:00 p.m.) in a valley so the light was at a premium. I had to eliminate my Teleconverter and settle for shooting this small subject with just my 300mm lens.
This bird is looking about 60-70 percent larger than normal due to the frigid temperature. We were well below -20C and it may have been as cold as -30C. Here is an image that better presents both of the "false eyes" that these little fellows have on the back of their heads.
Even though there were two of us snapping shots, pretty constantly, and moving around, this little owl seemed ot be undeterred and continued hunting. Every now and then it would take a peek to ensure we were keeping our distance.
I found it difficult to get a really good image of the birds tail, it is pretty short for a raptor, and I think it is pretty narrow. You can see the nice banding that it has, a very pretty little bird.
We finished up right where we started with this little bird, it went right back to the exact same tree that we initially spotted it in.  A terrific experience and I am glad that there was someone with me to enjoy it as well.
You can actually see the effect of the crescent moon just over this birds head. I hope you enjoyed the multiple shots of this predator. It certainly was the topping added to a terrific day here in the frigid Alberta winter.

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