So the morning was a typical weekday, full of small-town shenanigans of simple tasks becoming very complicated.
I was making my way out of the mall without anything that I went in there for, grouchy and irritable after 4 hours out of the house dealing with customer-serviceless-drones, and ready to just go home, cook lunch, and sit down with the cat. I was actually literally mumbling to myself about how irritating everything is, when I heard a loud bird screech (you can click here and scroll down to hear the sound, but it'll ruin the suspense of the story a bit).
I turned sharply toward the sound and saw this at the foot of my car, staring up at me:
I didn't take this picture (so sad I forgot my camera!), but his stare was just like that. He was staring at me so intensely. He would stare, then look away. Then stare, then look away. (Maybe he was a youngin' and didn't want his mama to see him making friends with The Big Creatures.)
"Hello there!" I said, so totally over social norms that I had no qualms about being seen speaking to an owl in English in a Brazilian mall parking lot. "Isn't it past your bedtime?"
He didn't answer, of course, just stared at me expectantly. I didn't have any food or anything with me, or I would've tried giving it to him.
We stayed there just staring at each other for about a minute. It wasn't the first coruja-buraqueira (burrowing owl) I've seen around here, but it was definitely the closest I'd been to one. It was fun. We bonded, had a connection. He calmed me down a bit. And then I went on my way.
Turns out they're diurnal owls. But they're totally cute and so expressive. I want one now. He and Gatinha can hunt together.
Totally made my day!