[Tweeters] An odd lump turns into an owl

Rob Sandelin floriferous at msn.com
Wed Dec 1 16:30:28 PST 2004

With the onset of colder weather, the suet feeder has been especially
popular. It is by a window in my house and I have the habit of glancing
through to the feeders as I walk through the kitchen. Since the birds tend
to usually be the same ones, I can ID what is outside with a gestaltish
glance. Today my gestalt was halted by an odd lump atop where the feeder is
attached. I stood staring at it for a long time, my brain clearly not
registering any sort of recognition. Fortunately the feeder binos were close
at hand and upon 8x magnification the odd lump turned into a pygmy owl
holding on to a dark-eyed junco in its talons. The junco was almost half as
large as the owl and both were facing away from me. The tiny mite of a
raptor was swinging his head back and forth at the impossible 179 degree
behind the back owl trick, and as the owl looked my way I caught a sparkle
in its eye, which I interpreted as seeming quite pleased by the catch of the
day. A pair of absolutely enormous by comparison Evening Grosbeaks landed on
the feeder below causing the tiny owl to evacuate its perch for a more
private luncheon spot.

Rob Sandelin
Naturalist, Writer, teacher

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