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WESTERN SCREECH OWL: The Preeminent Exterminator

Closeup of a Western Screech Owl

Quotation MarksThis is my first encounter with this amazing little species of owl (Megascops kennicotti), sometimes nicknamed the Little Horned Owl for obvious reasons. Though averaging less than 10″ tall, he was quite fearless of this mammoth beast hiding its face behind a big black box covered with glass and shiny bits.

This sedulous little owl is far more valuable than the most efficient and expensive exterminator, effectively protecting any property from rodents, reptiles, fish, amphibians, invertebrates and gastropods. All gratis! However, most impressive to me, is that this intrepid little exterminator, weighing in at less than 11 ounces, can and does, hunt mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) that can weigh as much as 3 1/2 pounds, and cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus) that can weigh in at 4 1/2 pounds. Surely this is a gift from God to any homeowner who has waged war against intruders. If it prevents even one desert pack rat (Neotoma lepida) from destroying the wiring in a car or house, it has earned its welcome on my property!

Apparently, big things truly CAN come in tiny packages!

—A. deLeeuw

Arizona, U.S. | 1/250 | F8 | ISO 500 | 280mm

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Written on October 26th, 2014 , 5th Day Photography, Birds, Owls

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On the 5th Day Photography – Revealing God's nature in the Sonoran Desert

Nature Photography and Stories from the Sonoran Desert