Find
Map
Post
Find
Aa

Wildlife sighting of the day

Moderator: HAZ - Moderators

Linked Descriptions None
User avatar
big_load
You talkin' to me peli
Posts: 3943
Joined: Oct 28 2003 11:20 am
City, State: Andover, NJ

Wildlife sighting of the day

Postby big_load » Nov 20 2016 7:40 pm

In Mule Canyon (UT) today, I accidentally scared a little owl off a freshly killed woodpecker. It hadn't even taken the first bite yet. I just barely missed getting a picture.

The owl was only about 8" tall, and it seemed dark gray/blue in color.

User avatar
flagscott
Flutin' Kokopelli
Posts: 129
Joined: Jan 03 2016 7:41 pm
City, State: Flagstaff, AZ

Re: Wildlife sighting of the day

Postby flagscott » Nov 20 2016 9:06 pm

Sounds like you saw a northern pygmy-owl. They're the only small owl that usually hunts during the day, and they eat birds.

Hope he got to go back for the rest of his meal after you left. :)

User avatar
big_load
You talkin' to me peli
Posts: 3943
Joined: Oct 28 2003 11:20 am
City, State: Andover, NJ

Re: Wildlife sighting of the day

Postby big_load » Nov 22 2016 10:38 am

That looks about right. It was odd to see an owl staring up from the ground just three steps away.

BTW, Mrs. big_load is tired of getting owl bites.

User avatar
flagscott
Flutin' Kokopelli
Posts: 129
Joined: Jan 03 2016 7:41 pm
City, State: Flagstaff, AZ

Re: Wildlife sighting of the day

Postby flagscott » Nov 22 2016 11:25 am

Sightings like yours aren't too common (I've only seen pygmy owls maybe a half dozen times versus hearing them hundreds and hundreds of times). But if you learn your owl calls and keep your ears open, you realize that owls are everywhere. During spring and summer, I hear pygmy owls calling during daytime on probably 90% of my hikes in wooded areas in northern AZ. And when I camp, I'd guess that I hear owls calling at night well over half the time, again mainly in spring and summer. Some owls call all year. I heard a spotted owl a couple of weeks ago near Flagstaff.

I could tell you some stories about owl bites. Suffice to say, wear gloves when you handle a boreal owl. They bite way above their weight.

User avatar
big_load
You talkin' to me peli
Posts: 3943
Joined: Oct 28 2003 11:20 am
City, State: Andover, NJ

Re: Wildlife sighting of the day

Postby big_load » Nov 22 2016 7:01 pm

I've seen one other owl kill while backpacking. On the Cabin Loop deep into twilight, a Great Horned Owl took out a rabbit about 10 yards from where I was cooking dinner. It was scary. It blotted out the rising moon as it swooped in and its wings were fully spread on the ground as it struck. There were horrible screams from the victim, and I thought the owl might be injured, because it had a lot of trouble getting airborne again, beating its wings against the ground.

My other frightening owl encounter was getting buzzed by a screech owl while cowboy camping in Pennsylvania. I think their strategy is to just scare critters to death with that screech.


Return to “Fauna”


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests





 

 

Login  •  Register