Northern Pygmy-Owl

One of the birds we get a lot of inquiries about is Northern Pygmy-Owl.   We were recently walking in one of our favorite local birding spots.  This morning was pretty quiet bird-wise and it was more walking than birding until a couple of Gray Catbirds caught our attention with their scolding notes.  Looking up in a tree right next to the road, we were surprised and delighted to see a Northern Pygmy-Owl.  Several American Robins were also scolding (these owls eat mainly small birds) and at one point, the owl and a robin were sharing the same branch.  Looking at the photo afterwards, it was interesting that the owl was actually a bit smaller than the robin.  Sure enough, my Sibley guide shows robins at about 10 inches long and the owl about 7.  This was only the second time in roughly 130 visits to this foothills location that we have encountered Northern Pygmy-Owl–hope it’s not the last!

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