Owl Ranch

Glaucidium brasilianumSan Migeulito Ranch is all owl, no cattle. A dozen miles from anywhere in Kenedy Co., and down a treacherously sandy road — we got stuck, as predicted, and needed a pickup to pull and five of us stout-hearted lads to push (this is when I think I picked up my tick and my chiggers, I’ll spare you pics of the savaged ankles) — it’s home to a pair of nesting Ferruginous Pygmy Owls (Glaucidium brasilianum). The birds are rare indeed for the U.S. They are also unusual for owls because they’re active in daylight. The ranch gives tours.Glaucidium brasilianum(Above shot through a spotting scope: I think I’ve finally figured out digiscoping.)
Glaucidium brasilianum

But wait! With this FPO, you also get:Megascops asioEastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio)! This nest box was no more than fifteen feet from the FPO nest box: the species seem to care less about each others’ proximity.Megascops asioBubo virginianusThe same thing could not be said for the local Great Horned Owls, which will eat little owls and big owls and any and everything else. There was a nest with two young in a nearby barn. Another nearby barn had had Barn Owls: ant lionsthe ground was littered with the tiny white bones from their prey, but there was no sign of them that day. (The pits are made by Antlions.)

On the way out, which is when we got stuck, we were shown another GHO nest, with another two young ones, perhaps a week from fledging. Bubo virginianus

Bonus Owl: here’s a GHO adult still sitting on eggs in a Sable Palm at the Sabal Palm Sanctuary:Bubo virginianus

6 Responses to “Owl Ranch”

  1. 1 crumpet212 April 27, 2014 at 10:43 am

    great photos, entrancing birds. thank you.

  2. 2 Tom Bland April 27, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    An owl bonanza, you lucky guy!

  3. 4 elwnyc April 27, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    The thing I learned about chigger bites: don’t EVER start scratching them because you’ll never stop.

  1. 1 Strix varia | Backyard and Beyond Trackback on January 19, 2015 at 7:02 am

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