Today I was walking home from school and my dad's car was on. He quickly rushed out with my binos and we rushed into the car. As we drove north my dad gave me the run down of the bird we were chasing ... The rare and elusive Long-eared Owl. This bird was found by a local Ft. Collins birder named Brad Biggerstaf. The bird was closer to Wellington than Ft. Collins though. Once we reached the grove of Russian Olive Trees we started to scan the grove, as we moved farther and farther into the grove, a Red-tailed Hawk screeched out and the wind blew, but no owl ... I scanned the trees and a large raptor with an odd shaped head ... I knew it couldn't possibley be the owl, so I passed it off as a Red-tail, then from 30 ft away on the edge of the grove and a field my dad yelled, "thats the OWL!" and I rushed through the brush so elegantly that I cut my leg and bonked my head on a limb. But I got the owl flying by, at that moment I realized the bird I saw (and maybe spooked) was the Long-eared Owl. Score! A new year bird and number 405 for my life list.
Thanks to Brad for both the West Indies Field Guide and the great new year bird and also lifer.