How could I say “no” to something the size of a mint chocolate chip waffle cone?

An Elf Owl kind of sunset over the Bill Williams river.
An Elf Owl kind of sunset over the Bill Williams river.
Kayaking through the beautiful Topock Gorge on the Colorado River.
Kayaking through the beautiful Topock Gorge on the Colorado River.
Ocotillo displays its gorgeous blooms. It reminds me of the underwater world plants in Super Mario Bros 3.
Ocotillo displays its gorgeous blooms. It reminds me of the underwater world plants in Super Mario Bros 3.
This chuckwalla basks in the desert sun, proudly showing off his designer reptilian suit.
This chuckwalla basks in the desert sun, proudly showing off his designer reptilian suit.

I once again found myself on the lower Colorado River to continue the immensely rewarding avian research.  The Elf Owls had lured me back into their tiny grasp.  How could I say “no” to something the size of a mint chocolate chip waffle cone?

Grumpy Elf Owl
Grumpy Elf Owl

This year, we captured a handful of Elf Owls to track via telemetry.  Once caught, we’d carefully apply a teeny radio transmitter that sent a set frequency, which we use to track their territories.  Outfitted with metal antennas, sometimes we braved the stormy skies like bison.

It's not like we're carrying metal rods into storms or anything.... oh wait.
It’s not like we’re carrying metal rods into storms or anything…. oh wait.

Often, the nights would bring about unexpected treats like thread snakes, baby kangaroo rats, angry rattlesnakes, or a cougar sprinting off like a bat-out-of-hell after getting sprayed by a skunk.   The nights often brought a slight bit of sleep-deprived insanity in the form of creative camera shots.

This is what happens when you leave two weirdos in the desert with their headlamps and a camera.
This is what happens when you leave two weirdos in the desert with their headlamps and a camera.

“Life nowhere appears so brave, so bright, so full of oracle and miracle as in the desert” –Edward Abbey

Keith Brennan peeping an Elf Owl nest in a saguaro.
Keith Brennan peeping an Elf Owl nest in a saguaro.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑