Best of Animals, 2018

A year wouldn’t be complete without my wildlife photos that I strive so hard to capture.  This year has been especially unique with some terrific ‘up-close-and-personal’ shots of a wide variety of wildlife, including bison, antelope, and big horn sheep.  Picking the top shots is the hard part… what an awesome problem to have. : )

antelopelk_IR.jpg1.  Antelope   Greens Peak Loop near Show Low

blue_PS_IR.jpg2.  Blue Heron    Carneros Lake

ramtree_IR_IR.jpg3.  Big Horn Sheep    Greer, AZ

deersmirk_IR.jpg4.  Mule Deer    Grand Canyon South Rim

_40A5780_IR.jpg5.  Mule Deer    Grand Canyon North Rim

bison fight_IR.jpg6.  Bison    Raymond Wilderness Area

Greatapproach_IR.jpg7.  Great White Egrets    Happy Jack, AZ

_40A6663_IR.jpg8.  Baby White Tail Deer Fawn    Happy Jack, AZ

daisibull_IR.jpg9.  Bull Elk    Happy Jack, AZ

pygmy on_IR.jpg10.  Pygmy Owl    Happy Jack, AZ

 

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Look, Snow

pygmy up snow PS_IR.jpg

We finally got a little snow…. not much, but enough to have the animals hunker down and get out of the wind and snow.  This little pygmy owl sat and gazed at the snow and watched it come in.  Any time we see some of the more ‘exotic’ and rare animals, we are thrilled… and this pygmy owl was no exception.

pygmy alert_IR.jpg

Pygmy Owl

I put this photo on my kritterspaw.com site, but it bears repeating.

We saw what we thought was a little bird, huddled up on a branch.  It seemed roundish, as it shivered and squatted itself all together during our snow storm.  Then it turned and looked at me.  I couldn’t believe it.  It had that unmistakable face… it was an owl.  It wasn’t much bigger than a sparrow… maybe 4 – 5″ tall.

powl_PSKi

How cool is that!

Apparently it’s a Pygmy Owl.  To be specific, a Northern Pygmy Owl.  The most common one I could find (in AZ) is from southern AZ (Tucson area). It has been on and off the endangered species list, with only 28 sightings in 2014…. none noted to be in Northern AZ.  It’s no wonder really… they are so small.

The pygmy owl eats insects, lizards, rodents, and small birds as large as itself.

I’d love for it to come back, but it may be a once in a life time sighting.  I’m so happy we saw it… and got a decent photo!