Thursday, April 23, 2015

Meet Flubby

Yesterday, I contacted an old friend of mine, Edgardo Tejada, who have been posting photos of a nocturnal visitor to his house since almost two months ago: a Tropical Screech-Owl.  It has been a while since the last time I saw or heard this species, so I decided to pay him a visit to his house in Panama City.  It took me a bit because I was having dinner with my family ... and when we reach his house, Edgardo told us that the owl was gone.
Waxing crescent over Panama City
Too bad I thought, but Edgardo told me not to worry... he is a careful birdwatcher, and after two months watching Flubby (his girlfriend named it that way) he knew its routine... and assured me that the little bird would be back in 30 minutes.  So we walked along the street with a low-powered flashlight and under the light of the waxing crescent moon, catching up with our most recent birding trips and chatting, essentially, about everything.  Suddenly, Edgardo told me to look up into a Tropical Almond tree (Terminalia sp.)... Flubby was spying us quietly!
Tropical Screech-Owl (Flubby)
We were amazed, this little creature was very close... even my daughter Gabrielle was able to see it with her bare eyes without problems.  Compared to others Tropical Screech-Owls, Flubby seems to be both smaller and darker... certainly, it is more tame and confident than others individuals seen in Panama City.  We do not know if this is because of familiarity with people, youth or maybe it's a escapee pet (although this bird is so good hunting cockroaches and grasshoppers that we doubt it was a pet).
Tropical Screech-Owl (Flubby)
We saw (and photographed) Flubby for 15 minutes, more or less, until it disappeared as briefly as it appeared.  You can see in these photos the black borders to the facial disk, the short ear tufts and the herring-bone pattern in the underparts.  This is the fourth owl species I'm able to photograph right here in Panama City (the others are Barn, Black-and-White and Striped Owls), and I wish to thank Edgardo for giving me the opportunity to watch and photograph Flubby!

1 comment:

  1. You owe me a visit to get pics of the Spectacleds Owls in my backyard! They have no names and they are not as predictable as Flubby but are amazingly impresive!
    Great reed