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Winter hunt

March 1, 2011
An Oregon Junco

An Oregon Junco eats a sunflower seed in heavy snowfall. Photo copyright Mark B. Gibson

I was photographing Juncos at the feeder during a heavy fall of snow this afternoon, above, when the entire flock of birds erupted into the air with calls of alarm, some bumping the window of the house in their panic. I couldn’t see at first what had disturbed them, but then noticed movement on the ground behind the post supporting the feeder. I moved until I could see owl eyes. It had caught one of the Juncos.

It flew to a nearby tree, so I unlatched the camera from the tripod and slipped out the back door. It was a Northern Pigmy owl. Eventually it flew yet again to a higher branch of a pine, where it spent an hour or so plucking the little bird.

A pigmy owl with an Oregon Junco

A pigmy owl clasps an Oregon Junco it just captured at a nearby feeder during a heavy fall of snow near The Dalles, Oregon. Photo copyright Mark B. Gibson

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 13, 2011 08:24

    I love these picture–especially the little owls. What fun. And to be in the right place at the right time to catch them, is a part of your talent and gifting. Wow!

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