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Friday, September 12, 2008

Pygmy-Owl in Antigua

While walking around colonial Antigua, Guatemala, we spotted this little guy on a wire above the busy sidewalk (yeah, look carefully, he's that little dot). While Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls in Texas and Arizona are usually found in areas with native habitat, I've seen these guys in some pretty urban areas of Mexico and Guatemala--though this one may take the cake. An arrow in this lower photo shows where this bird was relative to the sheet-metal rooftops of this bustling area!

Antigua's a great city, but not the safest place for tourists to explore beyond the central areas. Unlike most parts of the US, it isn't considered safe for birders in Guatemala to just wander across the countryside looking for birds, so most birding takes place on private lands or preserves. Fortunately, a new birding spot that is only a seven minute taxi ride from downtown Antigua is set to open soon, so on my next trip I look forward to doing a bit more exploring beyond the confines of the city!

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