[Tweeters] Northern Pgymy Owl

Jeff Kozma jkozma at charter.net
Tue Apr 25 20:48:35 PDT 2006

Hi tweets,

I was out working a little west of the Wenas Campground and North of Dry Creek when at 12:30 PM I heard a single "coke bottle" hoot off in the distance.  Not sure of exactly what it was, I shrugged it off to hear another single hoot about 5 minutes later from the same direction.  I then heard it about 3 minutes later, again a single hoot.  With my curiousity lit like a roaring camp fire, I imitated the hoot back.  Result, an immediate single hoot response.  I returned the favor and then a series of hoots spaced 2-3 seconds apart followed in reply.  I began alternating a hoot for every one of his/hers and sure enough the curiousity got the best of him/her and over my head into a tall ponderosa pine soared a Northern Pygmy Owl followed in hot pursuit by a throng of songbirds in full mob.  I got great looks at this fearless little guy as he eagerly searched for the "other owl" in his territory.  Birds that took turns mobbing him included American Robins, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Cassin's Finches, White-breasted and Pygmy Nuthatches, and Mountain Chickadees.  It was quite a sight and he only occassionally would flinch at the divebombing robin that would get too close.  He was fully intent on his task of finding the intruder or possible mate.  After about 5 minutes of this great interaction, I left him alone to make sure I did not inflict any undue strees.    

I know the road is gated to the campground, but it opens May 1st, I believe, so only another week to wait.

Jeff Kozma
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