This week’s photo, taken February 15, 2014 in Okanogan County, WA, features a NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL surrounded by falling snow.
Several hours after we stumble upon the largest owl in North America (Great Gray Owl), we encounter a NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL, the smallest owl in Washington state. Never before have I aimed my camera upwards during a snow storm, but that’s what it takes to photograph this tiny predator that’s less than 7 inches long.
An hour later at a different location, we find another Northern Pygmy-Owl. It’s perched out in the open, and the snow is really coming down now. Apparently, those little critters embrace winter weather.
During our February 15-17 Washington Ornithological Society bird trip to north central Washington, I add 9 new birds (see below) to my state list. Life birds are labeled with an (L).
Gray Partridge (L)
Sharp-tailed Grouse (L)
Great Gray Owl (L)
American Tree Sparrow
To view photos of six of the birds from the list above, click on:
(click on any photo to enlarge the image)