Regular Owl

Last night as I was closing the store I saw a large lump sitting on a dead tree branch across the highway. This is the spot where we usually see one of the resident red-tailed hawks perched. Since it was so late I thought it unusual to see a red-tail out so close to dark. Not only that, the lump was kind of slumped and not as erect as a red-tail usually sits. I grabbed the store binoculars hoping there was still enough light to get a better look at the silhouette. There was and as soon as I got it in focus I could see two feather tufts on top of the head--it was a great-horned owl. I wonder if it is nesting nearby and if it is using the nest that the red-tailed hawks built last year?

On another note, we are going through Nyjer like crazy at the bird store. Last winter we had some common redpolls, this winter they are back in force so keep an eye out for these small guys a the feeder. What people tend to notice about them first is the black feathers around the bill, it looks like they are sporting a goatee.