Saw Whet Owl
Saw Whet Owl is one of the cutest owls you can find in North America. These owls are particularly friendly and tolerate the proximity of humans. This owl is about the size of an American Robin.They typically spend their daylight hours sleeping on a branch just above the eye level. At night fall they begin their hunt for small mammals like mice.
I have been fortunate to find a saw whet owl close to where I live every winter. This winter was no exception. My first two outings around Christmas yielded nothing. Not only did I not find the owl but I also lost my tripod head which came undone from the tripod while I was navigating among the thick brush. Little did I know that this was a blessing in disguise. Three days later when I realized that I lost the tripod head I decided to go looking for it. Fortunately, I could still see my footsteps in the snow. After 45 minutes of searching I found the tripod head. Just a few feet away the saw whet owl was waiting for me. To my surprise it was very alert. The big yellow eyes followed my every move.
Two days later we had 5-6 inches of snow. The temperature was a frigid 1*F with gusting winds. Against my better judgement, I decided to head over to the nature center looking for the owl. I found the owl about two hundred feet to the north of my original sighting. The owl was clearly not as impressed with me. It hardly open its eyes.
After observing the owl for about 30 minutes I was ready to head home but decided to get a picture from a different angle. Then I noticed the mouse. The owl had caught a mouse and gone to sleep holding on to it. I am sure he/she was saving the poor mouse for a snack later on.