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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Tiger Owl

This morning's full moon and two birds
I did a long trek west of Tortugas Mountain, filled with much bushwhacking in our section of the northern Chihuahuan Desert.  I was rewarded for my efforts, encountering a Great Horned Owl along the way.

After doing a little research on this incredible raptor I learned that Great Horned Owls are often called "Tiger Owls" because they are such fierce defenders of their territory, and that they hunt the same areas as Red-tailed Hawks--only at night.  When they have occasion to bump into one another these bird of prey often fight ferociously.  Also, the Great Horned Owl has eyes almost as big as human eyes, and for a critter of its size (about 2-feet tall) they have nearly the biggest eyes of any vertebrate.  Many Native American people view Great Horned Owls as symbols of death, and the Pima tribe believed that when a person dies his/her spirit passes into the body of the owl.  The American Creek people viewed the owl as representatives of divine wisdom.

No matter what people believe, I felt privileged to discover one again in the desert this morning.
Full moon over a neighboring house

Even more fog in the Mesilla Valley this morning

Picacho Peak and valley in fog

A canid passed by my several-days-old boot print

Fog

Fog at a distance

Egg-shaped lucky stone

Look who I encountered this morning:  Great Horned Owl





My bushwhacking put some distance between me and Tortugas Mountain

"Tiger Owl"

This and the rest:  views from west of Tortugas Mountain








1 comment:

Dr. K said...

You don't see many Great Horned Owls, so this was a real treat. Nice photos, Packrat.

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