Ian’s Bird of the Moment – Great Horned and Ferruginous Pygmy Owls

There weren’t any owls on our must-see lists for Brazil and Chile because we weren’t particularly expecting to see any. However, we ended up seeing two species at opposite ends of the size scale: the largest Brazilian owl, Great Horned Owl, and one of the smallest, the Ferruginous Pygmy Owl.

The Great Horned Owl – splendidly named the Grand-duc d’Amérique in French – is seriously big, with females, larger than males, being up to 60cm/24in in length, 1.5kg/53oz in weight, with a wing span of up to 1.5m/5ft. The Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, by comparison tiny with the (smaller) males being as short as 15cm/6in, as light as 46g/1.6oz with an average wing span of 38cm/15in.

STI-Strg Great Horned Owl by Ian

Great Horned Owls feed mainly on mammals but are versatile and will take birds from small passerines up to geese and Great Blue Herons. Ferruginous Pygmy Owls are also versatile, make up for their small size by being quite aggressive and taking anything from insects to birds much bigger than themselves.

STI-Strg Ferruginous Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum) by Ian

Their versatile diets mean both species are very adaptable and have huge ranges in the Americas. The range of the Great Horned Owl extends from Alaska and northern Canada through Central and South America as far as northern Argentina, though it sizes restricts it to hunting in open areas and it avoids rainforests such as the Amazon Basin.

The Ferruginous Pygmy Owl ranges from southern Arizona through Central America and most of South America east of the Andes (including the Amazon Basin), also as far as northern Argentina. Both incidentally illustrate the taxonomic folly of using geographical areas in names, the specific name of one referring to the American state of Virginia, and the other to Brazil.

PEL-Pele Peruvian Pelican (Pelecanus thagus) by Ian

You probably know by now that I’m attracted to symbols, hence the owls. I couldn’t resist using avian symbols of wisdom as we celebrate the beginning of a new year and a new decade. The last decade seems to have been singularly lacking in wisdom in politics and leadership, and I hope for better in the twenties. At the same time we need to be optimistic and not lose our sense of fun, so I’m sharing the experience Trish and I enjoyed of watching Peruvian Pelicans on the coast of Chile – another lesson in names – apparently enjoying skimming over the waves in the late afternoon.

On the subject of wisdom, I read an article on the (Australian) ABC website today on whether the decade actually starts on the first of January 2020 or 2021. At the start of the millennium I was one of the pedants who felt it started in 2001, but I’ve shifted my ground. I like this quote from a comment on the article by Professor Hans Noel:

“Knowledge is knowing that there was no year 0 so technically the new decade begins Jan 1 2021, not 2020.

“Wisdom is knowing that we started this system in the middle, it’s socially constructed anyway, and it feels right to treat ‘1 to 10’ as a decade, so that’s what we do.”

The ABC Language researcher Tiger Webb had the final word:

“What’s often missing from this discussion is that all calendrical systems are abstractions of human arrogance in the face of an indifferent universe.”

So have a wisdom- and fun-filled 2020 and decade!


Lee’s Addition:

Well, now there is an interesting take on this new year.

I do know that according to the Bible, there was a year zero (0):

“For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
(Exodus 20:11 KJV)

That was when TIME as we know it began.

“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” (James 4:13-15 KJV)

Like Ian, Happy New Year.

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Moments

Avian and Attributes – Omnipotent

Great Horned Owl by Phil Kwong Galleries

Great Horned Owl by Phil Kwong Galleries

“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” (Revelation 19:6 KJV)

Avian and Attributes – Omnipotent

OMNIP’OTENT, a. [supra.]

1. Almighty; possessing unlimited power; all powerful. The being that can create worlds must be omnipotent.

2. Having unlimited power of a particular kind; as omnipotent love.

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) by Bob-Nan

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) by Bob-Nan

Great Horned Owl

The Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus), also known as the tiger owl (originally derived from early naturalists’ description as the “winged tiger” or “tiger of the air”) or the hoot owl, is a large owl native to the Americas. It is an extremely adaptable bird with a vast range and is the most widely distributed true owl in the Americas. The great horned owl is one of the earliest nesting birds in North America, often laying eggs weeks or even months before other raptorial birds.

All great horned owls have a facial disc. This can be reddish, brown or gray in color (depending on geographical and racial variation) and is demarked by a dark rim culminating in bold, blackish side brackets. This species’ “horns” are tufts of feathers, called plumicorns. The purpose of plumicorns is not fully understood, but the theory that they serve as a visual cue in territorial and socio-sexual interactions with other owls is generally accepted.

More Avian and Attributes

Birds whose last name start with “O”

Birds of the Bible – Owls

Good News

[Definitions from Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828), unless noted. Bird info from Wikipedia plus.]

Lee’s Four Word Thursday – 2/23/17


Great Horned Owl Youngsters at Circle B Bar Reserve by Lee



“There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate.” (Isaiah 34:15 KJV)

Great Horned Owl Youngsters at Circle B Bar Reserve by Lee


More Daily Devotionals


Great Horned Owl Youngsters

Great Horned Owl Youngsters at Circle B Bar Reserve by Lee

Great Horned Owl Youngsters at Circle B Bar Reserve by Lee

“And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,” (Leviticus 11:17 KJV)

This afternoon we were able to go to the Circle B Bar Reserve and watch the latest talk of the birders. Yesterday, our birding friends at church told us about these two youngsters that were stealing all the attention at the park.

It was easy to find the area, because it is roped off to keep everyone at a safe distance from the youngsters. An array of onlookers with binoculars and lots of cameras were watching and waiting for the youngsters to wake up from their naps.

Great Horned Owl Youngsters at Circle B Bar Reserve by Lee

Great Horned Owl Youngsters at Circle B Bar Reserve by Lee

Finally, a fuzzy ball appeared, and then a head popped up. Eventually, two heads were visible.

Notice how their Creator gave them just the right kind of feathers to blend in with their surroundings. Another example of the Lord’s Care for His creation.

Great Horned Owl Youngsters at Circle B Bar Reserve by Lee

Trust you will enjoy these glimpses of them. It was hard trying to catch a decent photo because they were quite a way from us. Trying to hold a zoomed in, hand-held, camera in “program mode” is a challenge. But, I am so thankful for the Lord allowing us to see some of his wonderfully created Great Horn Owl youngsters. These were my first GHO youngsters seen in the wild.

Great Horned Owl Youngsters at Circle B Bar Reserve by Lee

Do You See Them

Great Horned Owl Youngsters at Circle B Bar Reserve by Lee

Let Me Zoo In Some More. .. Do You See Them Now?

Great Horned Owl Youngsters at Circle B Bar Reserve by Lee

Zoomed In More…Do You See Them Now!

Here is a slide show of the photos in fairly decent order of how they were taken.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I was able to shoot some video, but again, it’s a little shaky. Enjoy.


Birds of the Bible – Owls

Strigidae – Owls

Circle B Bar Reserve

Wordless Birds


Live Cams from All About Birds

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) by Bob-Nan

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) by Bob-Nan

The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan, (Deuteronomy 14:16 KJV)

There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate. (Isaiah 34:15 KJV)

Are you aware of the Live Cameras that All About Birds are sharing? They are very interesting to watch. The latest that was shared with me is a Great Horned Owl nest Cam in Savannah, GA.

Take a look”

Here is a link that shows more about the Great Horned Owls there.


How about some Laysan Albatross nest in Hawaii?

Here is there link for the Albatross.


Aren’t these amazing? It is alway great to watch the Lord’s amazing creations, but to get to see them at the nest or at feeders is neat with today’s technology.

If you would like to see all the current Cams from All About Birds click this link. Not all the camera are operating all the time, but this page will help you find the live one as the current time.



Birds of the Bible – Owls

Strigidae – Owls

Diomedeidae – Albatrosses Family



I Don’t Show Off – The Great Horned Owl

I Don’t Show Off – The Great Horned Owl – by a j mithra

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) by Ray

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) by Ray

Great Horned owls can fly silently because the ends of their flight feathers don’t have barbules, those tiny hooks that most all other bird feathers have. When birds fly, the rubbing barbules is what makes the noise…

If GOD has not created these owls to fly silent, it would’ve turned into a prey instead of being a predator..

It doesn’t show-off its presence..

Please read through Isaiah chapter 39, you will see how King Hezekiah showed every treasure he had to the king of Babylon and how it brought curse over his family…

Talents and treasures from GOD
are not to show off but to glorify HIM…

On the faces of Great Horned owls and most other owls there are very short feather in a rounded pattern that form a facial disk. This facial dish acts like a satellite dish, receiving sounds and funneling them to the ears, which are hidden beneath feathers on the sides of the skull…

Its one ear is slightly higher and positioned at a slightly different angle on the head
than the other, it is able to use a kind of “sound triangulation” process to judge the location of its prey with amazing accuracy…

These owls can hear even the slightest movement of its prey within leaves or undergrowth or even in snow…
Such is its hearing ability..

Most of us tend to grumble about prayers unanswered..
We say that GOD doesn’t talk to us..
What sort of prayer time do we have?
Do we take time to be silent in HIS presence?

If these birds didn’t maintain silence, they may have to starve to death..

Most of us are spiritually starved cos, we go with a shopping list to the presence of GOD, instead of taking orders from the LORD..

Unless we learn to be still, we will never know our LORD..

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalm 46:10)

Note: Thank you, Ms Val, for the inspiration.. I’ve learnt loads from your article about THE GREAT HORNED OWL.. May GOD richly bless you in all that you do for HIS glory..

Have a blessed day!

Your’s in YESHUA,
a j mithra

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