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Stygian Owl Photo by: Jim Culbertson 26 December 1996 Bentsen State Park near Mission, TX Hidalgo County

At the time a first for the ABA area, this Stygian Owl was discovered by Nathan Wright and his parents John and Paula Wright of Greenville, North Carolina, when it was seen being harassed by a Gray Hawk. The bird remained all day at this perch providing great views for lucky folks like Jim and Pat Culbertson. Jim photographed it from about 60 feet away with an EF 300mm F2.8 lens and Canon 2x extender. The bird was last seen flying off at dusk. It was never relocated.
See John Arvin's comments on the species range and biology.

See below for what was belatedly the first Stygian Owl documented in the United States:-




Stygian Owl
Photo by: Mel Cooksey
9 December, 1994
Bentsen S. P.
Hidalgo County, Texas

Originally presumed to be a odd Long-eared Owl, this record lay dormant in the photographer's archives. Recently (after the bird of December 1996) the photo was re-examined and its true identity discovered.


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