A Tale of Two Owls - Jimmy Breitenstein

A Tale of Two Owls

In December of 2016, I had a goal in mind. I was going to find and photograph a Western Screech Owl. I hadn't done much in the past with photographing Owls, and wanted to find as many species as I could. I started like I usually do when looking for a specific animal-- research. After scouring multiple sources for information on these little raptors, I began my search. I started looking in areas that I thought may be good for Western Screech Owls, started monitoring different tree holes I had found and listened for Owl calls at night. I'd narrowed down a few different areas and felt like I was on the right track. Then one day, while checking on some trees, I noticed a pair of yellow eyes looking at me through the branches! No, that wasn't a Western Screech Owl, it was a Northern Saw Whet! I was filled with excitement and began to take some pictures. Over the next few days, I'd check on my new Owl friend, until it finally moved on, most likely migrating out of the area.


Months passed, nearly a year, and I decided to start looking for more Northern Saw Whet Owls. I was hoping the same Owl that had visited the previous year might return. I began checking all the same spots I had come to know the year before. Making my rounds one morning, I headed to the very same tree that my Owl friend had briefly called home nearly a year before. Rounding the tree, I looked up and couldn't believe what I was seeing! A Western Screech Owl poking it's head out of a hole in the trunk! I quickly backed away, so as not to disturb the little Owl. This Owl's stay ended up being even shorter than that of the Northern Saw Whet's, and much less consistent. But I thoroughly enjoyed every time it would show up to say hi. 

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