As an active naturalist living out in the country I get to see some pretty cool stuff. This afternoon I was making an afternoon check of butterflies in our Progreso Lakes yard when I noticed a commotion in our big ash tree. A Golden-fronted Woodpecker had just flushed an Eastern Screech-Owl into view. I quickly raised my camera as all of my screech-owl shots in our yard are of partially obscurred roosting birds and was surprised to see it with prey. Closer inspection revealed the prey item to be an adult Four-lined Skink.
Wow. I have never seen anything like this before. I moved around the tree to get shots aft different angles.
Not wanting to pressure the owl, I moved to our back porch about fifteen yards away. After a few minute the Eastern Screech-Owl began to call with the distinct purring trill that is characteristic of our Rio Grande Valley subspecies, mccallii
. Then it flew with the skink across the tree to a leafy area where I lost sight of it. Then I spotted a second owl.
I left the porch to get a better view and fortunately found both owls together. Reading the "All About Birds" account I see they eat about anything they can get in their mouth. I'm guessing this is a pair rather than an adult with a youngster.
So a dull day with not much going on turned out pretty exciting.