Montana Outdoors

December 25, 2010

An early Christmas present

Filed under: Birds, Winter — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 10:40 am

Pigmy Owl

Northern Pygmy Owl, Glaucidium gnoma

One of my favorite Christmas presents actually came yesterday when this beautiful little wild creature tolerated my presence at close range for a full four minutes and posed so nicely for me all the while. He abruptly ended the session when he launched from his perch atop a Mullein stalk, flew like a dart into a small clump of brush about 40 feet away and caught a vole for his supper. This photo was taken at a distance of about 20 feet and the image is approximately life-size: the photo has not been cropped. It’s difficult for me to imagine a much better gift!

Merry Christmas everyone!



  1. That is a beautiful photo. Hope your Christmas is a merry one!


    Comment by Jim — December 25, 2010 @ 10:44 am

    • Thanks Jim! I hope you and your family are having a great Christmas too! I have been really enjoying your photos and look forward to many more!


      Comment by montucky — December 25, 2010 @ 10:53 am

  2. Fantastic photography! What a beautiful owl!


    Comment by Barbara — December 25, 2010 @ 10:49 am

    • Thanks Barbara. Isn’t that a marvelous little creature!


      Comment by montucky — December 25, 2010 @ 10:55 am

  3. Oh Terry, what a gorgeous little owl! I adore owls and am pleased that there are several that fly and hunt nearby.
    This would make a fabulous framed picture, you know?


    Comment by Val Erde — December 25, 2010 @ 11:24 am

    • I think it’s a gorgeous little thing too and I also love owls! Yes, I will have to make a print of that.


      Comment by montucky — December 25, 2010 @ 10:13 pm

  4. Excellent… seriously… EXCELLENT! I L♥VE IT! It’s so crisp & clear… you couldn’t have gotten a better or more PERFECT shot of that lil guy/gal! =)

    Hope you’re having a wonderful Christmas!!! =)


    Comment by Tricia — December 25, 2010 @ 11:38 am

    • Thanks Tricia! I hope your Christmas has been a wonderful one!


      Comment by montucky — December 26, 2010 @ 12:08 am

  5. ps i agree w/ Val Erde… FRAME IT!


    Comment by Tricia — December 25, 2010 @ 11:39 am

  6. A gift to you and now for us! Thanks for sharing this beautiful image.


    Comment by Cait — December 25, 2010 @ 11:41 am

    • I’m happy to see that you and others also have enjoyed seeing that little creature, Cait!


      Comment by montucky — December 26, 2010 @ 12:11 am

  7. What a beautiful gift for our eyes!


    Comment by Roberta Gould — December 25, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

  8. The true gift is in your photography and another in being in the right place at the right time… someone is looking out for your love of nature ; )

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!


    Comment by kcjewel — December 25, 2010 @ 12:45 pm

    • Yes, perhaps someone is looking out for me. Merry Christmas, Jewel!


      Comment by montucky — December 26, 2010 @ 12:14 am

  9. Oh! It is as cute as you claimed! I love the color of the eye. Wonderful photo! Love you!


    Comment by Juls — December 25, 2010 @ 1:31 pm

  10. It really is a most marvelous Christmas gift! Merry Christmas, Terry!


    Comment by Bo Mackison — December 25, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

  11. someone must have been a good boy this year…


    Comment by Sandy — December 25, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

  12. That is a pretty little owl. I know for sure that have never seen one. Great shot.


    Comment by sandy — December 25, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

    • As far as I can tell, that is strictly a western species. There is a similar species in the deserts of the southwest too.


      Comment by montucky — December 26, 2010 @ 12:16 am

  13. He is beautiful! One of the elves spent a few days skiing in Montana and she brought back some chokecherry jelly for me. It made me remember the gorgeous shots of chokecherries blossoms you took a year or so ago. So I decided to stop and wish you and yours a Merry Christmas!


    Comment by FF&F — December 25, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

    • Thanks! I understand they had a good time on their Montana trip. I was so happy that the weather was good when they were here! Merry Christmas to you and your family too!


      Comment by montucky — December 26, 2010 @ 12:21 am

  14. Gorgeous..exquisite beauty!! Wishing you and yours all the best..holidays filled with laughter and light!


    Comment by Marcie — December 25, 2010 @ 3:57 pm

    • Thanks Marcie! I hope you and your family have had a great Christmas and will have a wonderful holiday season!


      Comment by montucky — December 26, 2010 @ 12:22 am

  15. I am speechless. At first I thought he was stuffed! He is so perfect. Your shot is so perfect. Every feather. Remarkable!

    Happy joy to you!


    Comment by Roberta Warshaw — December 25, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

    • I was so thrilled to see him at close range and be able to get a photo. I hope you are having a great Holiday season, Roberta!


      Comment by montucky — December 26, 2010 @ 12:28 am

  16. wow!! that is a nice gift! thanks for sharing!


    Comment by silken — December 25, 2010 @ 7:31 pm

  17. Now that’s what I would call the perfect gift. Thanks for sharing this perfect moment.


    Comment by anniespickns — December 25, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

    • Thank you for visiting, Annie! For me, it was indeed a perfect gift.


      Comment by montucky — December 26, 2010 @ 12:33 am

  18. Nice gift! Beautiful critter.


    Comment by Candace — December 26, 2010 @ 1:38 am

    • I remember seeing a lot of Pygmy Owls in the Arizona desert, but a different species. They look a lot alike.


      Comment by montucky — December 26, 2010 @ 11:24 pm

  19. Hi Montucky, You just get the best shots! Spectacular photograph of the Owl! Have a great day today & stay warm. Snowing here in TN today!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — December 26, 2010 @ 11:50 am

    • This was a very lucky encounter! We had a little snow this evening and more is on the way with sub-zero temps for New Years. Enjoy the snow!


      Comment by montucky — December 26, 2010 @ 11:25 pm

  20. FANTASTIC, Terry! Actually quite stunning!


    Comment by edvatza — December 27, 2010 @ 5:32 am

  21. That is definitely one awesome gift Terry! Beautifully captured!

    Hope you had a Merry Christmas!


    Comment by Stacey Dawn — December 27, 2010 @ 6:15 am

  22. That is a fabulous gift and perfectly captured so you can enjoy it for years to come. The owl’s eyes are amazing looking.

    Happy New Year, Terry! Here’s to more gifts of wildlife sightings to come.


    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — December 27, 2010 @ 8:48 am

    • Happy New Year, Scott! I know getting a close shot like that in the wild is a rare opportunity, but of course I always look forward to more.


      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

  23. Oh, this is outstanding and beyond beautiful! What a capture and such a wonderful gift! A treasure. 🙂


    Comment by Anna — December 27, 2010 @ 9:00 am

    • Yes, Anna, I will treasure this photo. Happy New Year!


      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2010 @ 5:46 pm

  24. Thank you for passing this lovely gift on to us. He’s beautiful.


    Comment by Tammy McLeod — December 27, 2010 @ 9:29 am

    • Yes, he is a beautiful little creature. Thank you for visiting, Tammy!


      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2010 @ 5:47 pm

  25. Gifts like this are always a good sign that we are living in harmony with nature.



    Comment by knightofswords — December 27, 2010 @ 10:10 am

    • I hope so, Malcolm. That’s something that I certainly try to do.


      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2010 @ 5:49 pm

  26. Wow! Did this make my daughter’s day. She is an owl freak, knows all the different species and she is delighted by this photo. It is a beauty, too.


    Comment by burstmode — December 27, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

    • I’m so pleased that she liked it! My sister is an owl freak also and I plan to send her a print of it.


      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2010 @ 5:50 pm

  27. Fantastic! What a shot and all framed in situ, no photoshoping. Quite a present you were given for Christmas.


    Comment by Jack Matthews — December 27, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

    • It was quite a present! The little fellow stayed long enough for me to get 20 shots, but this one I liked the best.


      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

  28. I didn’t know that there are such tiny owls! He is a handsome bird and what a Christmas present from Mother Nature! (and even better you where able to get such an amazing photo of him to share with the rest of us!)


    Comment by kateri — December 29, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

    • They are pretty little things and so small that they are usually just overlooked. This was a very lucky encounter!


      Comment by montucky — December 29, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

  29. Fantastic, awesome, terrific etc. I guess that it really was the best Xmas gift a man can get. It is so beautiful.

    I have only seen: “Great Grey Owl, Strix nebulosa” and it visited in our school when I was a schoolboy. in the 50ties it was great news.


    Comment by sartenada — December 31, 2010 @ 1:02 am

    • We have other owls, but I just haven’t seen any lately. This one was a very pleasant surprise!


      Comment by montucky — December 31, 2010 @ 4:47 pm

  30. WOW… this is marvelous… just stopped by to see what was new with you and discovered an older post that I’d missed! (Do you ever post to groups on Flickr? I would invite images once in awhile but it seems from when I’ve checked that you don’t really post any of your lovely images to groups.)


    Comment by Victoria — December 31, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

    • I seldom post to groups, although at times I have. I just never seem to get around to it and don’t always understand all of the group rules.


      Comment by montucky — December 31, 2010 @ 7:39 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: