Saturday, November 26, 2016

Great Gray Owl

We found the Great Gray Owl in Yellowstone National Park last September. It was not hard to spot. The poor bird was surrounded by birdwatchers. A park ranger kept vigilance over the birders. Actually this bird does not look too healthy. Hopefully it was just napping at midday. Great Grays hunt both by night and day.
The owl performed a few maintenance behaviors, like preening its legs in this second photo. I find the pine needles on the bird’s side odd. I would have thought that the owl would have cleansed itself of miscellaneous vegetation. Preening is common for this species. Stretching is another frequent behavior. I am not sure what is happening in the last picture. Several times the owl appeared to face upwards, perhaps stretching? Or trying to become invisible to the enthusiastic birders?

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