It was early morning in my hometown São Paulo when I woke up and saw the sun shining bright outside. Perfect for a hiking day. I quickly packed my camera and drove to a nearby place where I could walk in the middle of the Atlantic forest. It is usually surrounded by birds and monkeys, but on that morning I was surprised by a couple of Burrowing owls. It was the first time I managed to spot them at that place so I hide behind a bush and made my place very comfortable to stay there looking at those amazing animals.
Another couple of owls appeared and when I realized there were at least 6 owls in the trees around. A quick research and I found out it was mating season. I couldn't contain my excitement.
It didn't take much time till the owls started to interact together. One of them, probably the male, always trying to get closer, trying to touch their heads, their beaks, and the other one trying her best to ignore him. But ten minutes on this courtship and she finally gave in. For the next 20 minutes, they were there just "kissing" each other, touching each other feathers, scratching their heads, and more "kisses". After that, they flew away, and I was left with a big smile on my face. That was for sure one of the cutest scenes I have witnessed in the wild. I'm always grateful to the animals and to nature for allowing me to be part of this.
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Clare Disano • Editor