February can be an ugly month up here. Days are short, and our usually reliable sun can disappear for days on end. Aside from being a thankfully short month, the only good thing about February is the owls.
For the past few years, I've had a resident great-horned owl roosting in the back yard. Last year this bird hung around for 6 weeks, sleeping here during the day and gliding out to hunt at dusk. I've no idea why the resident birds didn't mob him incessantly, but they normally allowed him his daily nap. The grey squirrels in the yard though, did have a habit of waking him with their rapid twisting and turing in the trees.
This little northern saw-whet was spotted by a birding group at a nearby local park. When I was there, he almost made the effort to open his eyes and see what was going on, but decided against it and went back to sleep.
February is always a good month to go for a drive. Snowy owls love the flat prairie grasslands just east of the city, and this year they were even easier to see than normal. They don't care a whit if a human is watching either, and also fall asleep in my presence.
There is a large local natural area that is home to a couple of northern pygmy owls in the winter. Last year these birds had an address - look up into the trees at the sound end of bridge #6. This year they've been a little harder to find, but they had their share of photo-ops last February.
|Photo by Bob Lefebvre|
|Photo by Rob English|