There is a pair of Short-eared Owls spending the winter in a farm field a few miles from my house. On my way to work, sometimes I stop to watch them as they swoop low over the fields looking for mice. As its getting light, before the sun is even up, they come in to roost in tall grass, so you have to get their early in the morning to see them hunting. Lately, they've been calling to each other...wierd and wild sounds that many people never get to hear (listen to their calls here).
This morning, I thought I might be too late to see them, as Savannah Sparrows were already singing (birds don't just sing in spring time) and a Ring-necked Pheasant was standing in the road when I arrived. Fortunately, after a few minutes, the owls came in calling and after just a few last passes over the fields, landed and disappeared in the tall grass a few hundred yards away.
A very cool way to start the day. When I got to the office, several Purple Finches were joining other birds at the seed feeders. Having spent 10 years in Texas, its nice to live in Purple Finch country again.