Stygian Owl

(c) 2002 Dean LaTray. All rights reserved. For rights to use this photo contact Dean here.

Sonora, Mexico
May 2012

Dean LaTray, who took this beautiful photo, wrote about his encounter with this Stygian Owl:

"Habitat: Area is very dry rough desert thorn-scrub, with foothills, ridges, and arroyos (foothills of the Sierra Madre). The arroyo where the owl was sighted is lined with green trees and vegetation. Details of sighting: Bird was at water's edge on the ground when we walked down from the bridge abutment. Bird had apparently been drinking at a pool, as its "whiskers" were wet in photos. Our approach startled the animal, and it flew a short distance onto the adjacent bank. I took a number of photos of it there, then it flew across the highway and landed in a small tree, where it stayed until we departed about 1 hour later. Owl was quite torpid, kept closing its eyes to doze, and displayed no fear of us despite close approach. Bird appeared quite large to me. Steve Howell lists size as 16 inches; I would have estimated the bird at 24 inches."

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