Today's bird is the Great Horned Owl! Lots of birders talk about their "hook" bird--the bird that made them want to be a birder, and the GHO is mine. I was working at Montezuma Well National Monument and living on the property. In the late evening, I was going for a walk, when I saw a giant bird swoop low in front of me. I followed it and it was a Great Horned Owl sitting in a tree. After a couple of minutes, it took off again and silently flew over my head. I'm pretty sure it could've picked me off if it had wanted to.
These don't look like the Great Horned Owl I saw back in Arizona. They're way too FLUFFY! I took these guys' picture at my friend Dianne's wedding, which she had at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin Texas on April 16, 2012.