I know, this is a stunning bird I absolutely agree.!! Look at it's piercing eyes that stare down at you so aggressively. This is an Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) and I photographed it yesterday at Green Cay Wetlands in Palm beach County. My best ever photo opportunity of this tiny owl. The owls were nesting close to the wooden walk way that circumnavigates the wetlands for several miles and this lovely example of the species was sat right next to the wooden boardwalk alongside another old palm tree stump that had a hole near the top - probably the nest hole? My assumption was that this is a male and he was standing guard over his nest burrow that more than likely contained his incubating mate.
I have no idea if that is correct but it seemed to be the likely scenario. Owls are usually very confident in their own camouflage and don't seem to be particularly worried when humans are nearby, this was certainly the case with this beauty but he certainly knew we were there. From time to time he scanned the ground and had perhaps sene prey - they eat rodents and large crickets etc but no doubt small reptiles as well - on other occasions he would look up - keeping a watchful eye out for predators overhead I am sure. Nearby, Blue Jays were mobbing something in the bushes but I couldn't see what, this could have been another owl?