Saturday, June 6, 2020

Madera Canyon, Santa Rita Mountains, Arizona - Part I

Two trips to Madera Canyon last week yielded a wonderful surprise, a Northern Pygmy Owl.

A pair of Northern Pygmy Owls nested in a large Sycamore Tree. A beautiful little owl only 6-7 inches tall. The Northern Pygmy Owl preferred habitat is forests of oaks and conifers -- and obviously Sycamores. Madera Canyon has a very high population of Acorn Woodpeckers (and Arizona Woodpeckers, Gila Woodpeckers, Red-naped Sapsuckers, and the occasional Red-breasted Sapsucker). With the abundance of woodpeckers comes an abundance of ready-made nests. So it is not surprising that Madera Canyon has a high population of Owls (Northern Pygmy Owl, Elf Owl, Western Screech and Whiskered Screech Owls.

The Northern Pygmy Owl's range is Mexico and north through Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. 

It does hunt during the day, so seeing one is just a matter of patience when you know where it is nesting. 

Northern Pygmy Owl in Nest

Northern Pygmy Owl with Lizard

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