Yellowstone Reports

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A Small Wonder

A Couple of Owl Stories
by Dan Hartman

Sept. 29, 2014

     I got an unusual call today.  Joye and John Kohl had just found a pygmy owl on their deck.  It seemed to have flown into their window.
     I arrived ten minutes later.  Sure enough, a tiny pygmy owl was lying on their deck peering up at us.  Right away I checked the eyes.  They appeared to be the same size so no obvious concussion.  His wings seemed to work.  The only thing that appeared wrong with him was his left leg.  He held it to one side and couldn't grip with the talons.
     I placed the little fellow in a bucket and brought him home.  At the cabin, I transferred the owl to a cardboard box and placed him on our porch.  I figured we'd know more by evening.  
     For the next two hours Cindy and I would check on him from time to time.  I was on the computer when suddenly Cindy called from the porch.
     "Dan, come here quick!".
     Expecting the worst, I rushed outside.  There Cindy was pointing across the road.
     "He just flew off!  I came out and he was perched on the edge of the box.  He looked at me, then flew away!".
     I spent the next half hour searching the trees across the road.  He was gone.  Back to the forest where he belonged.
     I've been working as a part time guide for National Geographic Magazine this month.  On my way to work I often spot a great horned owl perched at the back of a small clearing.  Every now and then I stop to get a few shots.
     It's unusual to see great horned owls perched in full sunlight.

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View slide show

Pygmy Owl

Owl In A Bucket

Window Face Plant


Perched Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

Fly Away