About three days ago, I went outside to the pool pumps to clean a filter (this is right behind our bedroom) and as I'm working I look up and 4'-5' in front of me are three of the smallest owls I've ever seen (and that's probably not saying much as this is only the second time I've ever seen owls in the wild.). They're only about 6"-8" tall! I thought all owls were large. So, the owls and I had a staring contest for about 10 seconds (I didn't know what to do) and then I went back to work figuring if I either left or completed the job, I'd have to move anyway. When I finished, I looked up and the three of them were still staring at me so I made as silent an exit as I could.
A couple of days later, there they were again and this time I ran to my trusty camera to take these shots, but almost all the pictures were taken from indoors shooting through a double pane sliding door. Sorry I couldn't get the pictures to pop, but the glass and shooting at a relatively high film speed aren't a good recipe for ultra sharp shots. I also couldn't move around much to help reveal the other two other owls very well. I didn't want to frighten them off.
I initially thought these were burrowing owls, because when I first stumbled upon them they kept on flying to the ground. But Monica and I did a little research and concluded that they are "elf owls" and pretty much fully grown at 6-8". They're still around and I'm still amazed at how small they are. Must be the parents and their offspring.
I think he's as curious about me as I was about him. Off to the left, in the center of the shot is another owl.
He never took his eyes off of me.
Here you can see all three, although the center and right one are partially obscured by the oleander leaves.
That's it, he said. Scat now.