It was a bad day 27 October 2017 for one "Oregon" junco, but a pretty great day for me, doing my usual bird feeder watching here in Gresham, Oregon. I had seen a flicker just a few moments before, and when I sensed a sudden movement, I just assumed the flicker had moved. But no, it was a pygmy owl, who had just captured a junco for its morning meal. 

I wanted a photo, but was pretty sure the owl would fly as soon as I opened the patio door. I tried not to scare it - took a couple of (poor) photos through the door. When it didn't fly, I cracked the door open and took another couple. It still didn't move, so I opened the door wide and started shooting in earnest. I kept walking closer and closer, and only stopped taking pictures when I was about four feet from the bird, and my telephoto wouldn't focus any closer. The owl  still just alternately stared at me and ate its junco. About an hour later, it had only moved a few feet, and showed no intention of leaving. Two scrub jays came within about a foot of it; they didn't even act like they saw one another. I didn't see when the owl finally left.

  Here's one of the first shots I took - from about 15 feet when I expected the owl to fly away.

At about 10 feet:

A little closer:

And finally, at about four or five feet.

 I just kept clicking, hoping to get a few good shots; eventually took 45, of which 40 are all of about the same quality.

   Not my first pygmy owl, but the first I've seen in Oregon, and definitely the 

closest I've been to one.


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