Burrowing Owl populations in San Diego County have been sharply depleted by extensive development and are at risk for local extinction.
In San Diego they are a protected species under the Multi-Species Protection Act, and are protected by state and federal wildlife agencies.
The Living Coast Discovery Center in The San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge is breeding these remarkable little owls and visitors can get up close and personal with these very curious creatures which is an incredible experience.
In the wild Burrowing Owls live mostly in squirrel and gopher burrows, often sharing space with their furry room mates.
The most reliable place to view Borrowing Owls in the wild in Southern California is at The Sony Bono Nature Preserve at The Salton Sea.
Artificial burrows have been set up here where you can watch the owls and their nests in the wild which is quite fascinating!
Cheers to you from the curious and way too cute Burrowing Owls~
For More Information on the depletion of Burrowing Owls in San Diego County see:
279 thoughts on “Owled Again~”
Love the close ups of this sweet little owl. We have them here, living in the prairie dog burrows. Never get to see the up close like this, though.
They used to be fairly wide spread in San Diego County, but no more. There are only a few isolated pockets of them. You are lucky to have them thriving near you. I would be out in that field! Wish I could be~ 🦉🦉
What beautiful creatures. I hope more is done to save them. They are gorgeous!! These photos are OWL-Standing!!
The 🦉 🦉and I love 🦉 Jolson! <3
Those photos are phenomenal! Those owls are so cute and we just keep tearing things down for our own selfish reasons. I’m glad someone is trying to take care of them.
If there weren’t dedicated people looking out for them, they would be extinct now in San Diego. As it is, they are close to it~
Cindy I always enjoy out photos.. the owls.. they are so precious.. they look soft and cuddly, but…. I think… I’ll enjoy from a distance… thanks always for the great pictures and sharing you do
The ones at the center were super curious and tame. They watch you with their 🦉 eyes, turning their heads around to follow you as you leave. So cute! 🦉
Amazing shots,Cindy !
the best that I’ve ever seen !!!
Awww, I am honored. Thank you very much~ <3 🦉
A beautiful bird! And credit to the photos!
The 🦉🦉 think you have very good taste! I think you are very kind. Thank you~
Owls 😘 aww you’re welcome 🙏🏻
I try not to say cute about wild animals, but with these guys it was entirely impossible! They are so dang cute! 🦉
Such beautiful animals. Hard to spot in trees though. And they do have a wise look
Usually when I see them, they are flying away from me! Laughing~ 🦉
Oh here comes that Cindy.lol At least your lucky enough to see them. I have never seen one in the wild
You’ve captured them beautifully in all their splendor, Cindy! I didn’t know they shared a burrow with squirrels. That’s fascinating. I hope the breeding program is a success.
I hope so too. I used to see them when I was a kid, but now I only see them at The Salton Sea, and rarely there~ 🦉
Blogs like yours help bring attention to their plight. Thank you for that, and for your always-stunning photos.
Aww, thank you for such kind words~ <3
Whooooo can argue with this wisdom and beauty? ….. love it Cindy ❤
Certainly you and I would never disagree with the wise old 🦉🦉!
They do look wise, Cindy.
We can understand how they got that appellation! 🦉
I used to have a nest of them in my yard when I lived in Nevada. So cute to watch a group of youngsters hanging outside the burrow.
Oh, I am jealous! That would be so awesome~
How wonderful to get so close. Owls have the most amazing eyes and the detail of the feathers is fantastic. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you more for appreciating our feathered 🦉 friends!
That is fascinating that they also live live in the burrow with squirrels or gophers. I thought they are hunted by Owls. I see the one in the picture has straps on the legs. Is that one kept as pet?
Bigger owls hunt squirrels and gophers. These are small little guys, they could eat babies, but they eat mice, bugs, lizards, little things. The guy with the straps isn’t a pet, but he’s being raised and bred in The Living Coast Discovery Center which is a conservation center.
May I steal the fist picture for my screen saver, please? I love owls.
Of course you can and I am happy to think of this! <3 🦉
Thank you for that fine example of what God created exceeding anything we make.
You are so right! It is just up to not kill all of them. 🦉
Wonderful to see these photos. What a ‘owling shame these little creatures are losing their natural habitat. Silly pun, sorry, but I am very serious about the shame bit.
Yes, I know you are serious, as am I. We were surrounded on this planet with delightful creatures that we are destroying one after another. 🦉
Fascinating! Beautiful birds.
I wish the photos could show how small they are. These are very little beautiful birdies~ 🦉
I haven’t seen owls this close! The clarity is incredible. So sad to hear there are only a few there… Amazing images!!
Awww, the 🦉🦉 and I are grateful that you care about them~ <3
I just love owls!!! You are sooo lucky Cindy ))
I love wild creatures great and small. The 🦉🦉 and are grateful for your love. They need it~ <3
Great pictures of those beautiful birds. So sad that so many animals are under stress because of our elopement.
It is and there is no going back for the species we are destroying~ 🦉
Great photos, Cindy. I saw some captives once in a FL reserve, of all places. You’re right, they are the cutest owls!
They are doing better in other parts of the country apparently, although they are diminishing everywhere. There are just incredibly cute critters~ 🦉
I first heard of these in a Carl Hiassen book. Apparently they used to be all over Florida as well. You provided the first,photos I’ve seen of them. I think the book was called Hoot.
Oh my gosh, I will look it up. I know Hiassen but not that book .Thanks for the lead~
It’s one of his young adult/kid books; Flush is another….
Thanks for the heads up~
They are 🦉mazing!
Whooooo…, Whooo ‘s being owlish again ??? Sad that their habitat is being threatened by humans…, when something is threatened, it’s almost always by humans. Most people today have no concept of what their destructive behavior is costing life and the environment around them.
Yeah !!! This is one of my favorite rants…,and I’m proud of it !!!!!!! 🙂
We can remember what natural spaces used to be like when we were young and what they are like now. I remember a bear count of 150 in Yellowstone when I was a kid including so many grizzly. Now seeing a grizzly is close to a religious experience. Rant on. You have my full support~
The older I get, the more I like owls. They’re so interesting and beautiful. Thanks for the lovely photos, Cindy. It’s nice to know that the Burrowing Owls are protected. What wonderful creatures 🙂
They are industrious, resourceful, curious, truly marvelous. They are interesting and beautiful and I fully understand how wild creatures become more interesting as we get older. We have more time to contemplate them.
And there you go again with your mojo, posting the best birdy photos! 🙂 <3
Laughing, my birdie mojo! Hugs to you Natalie~ 🐦<3
I wish I had your birdie mojo‼️Hugs to you too sweet Cindy❣️😘
And to you Natalie, you are a 💡 in so many lives~
Sweetness are you dear Cindy❣️😘
Visa versa 2UX2!
Lovely photos – they are sooo cute!
The 🦉🦉 think you have excellent taste! 😉
Love these photos. Beautiful Cindy. Blessings and peace!
Visa versa 2UX2! 🦉
They are so beautiful! Your pictures are amazing!
Your kindness is so very appreciated! 🦉
They are cute little creatures and is nice to be able to see their details so close. Great photos, again.
Thank you Joyce & Happy Sunday my friend~ <3
You too, and a good week ahead. 🙂
These guys look healthy and well-cared for (they resembled high-end plushies to me)! Bright-eyes and beautiful markings. Nice to see that they’re doing a great job there in San Diego. And thank you as always, Cindy, for the information about their status!
They do look like living plushies! Cheers to you Lynn and hope all is well with you! 🦉<3
What fascinating but beautiful little bundles they are Cindy. Until now I’ve never heard of a ground dwelling/burrowing owl.
xxx Huge Hugs xxx
I am honored to introduce them to you! Have a wonderful Sunday David~ 🦉
Reblogged this on Voices and Visions.
Your consistent advocacy is so appreciated Sharon. Thank you!
I love owls. But I am not alone. Something to do with their forward pointing eyes apparently. You have captured them beautifully Cindy, especially the details of their feathers.
They are mysterious, active while we are sleeping, they see what we cannot. So happy you like them & thank you~ 🦉
Such amazing creatures! I love owls 😉🦉
I love you for it! <3 🦉
How absolutely wonderful.
Tiny little adorable predators, as long as you are not a mouse! 🦉🦉
Such completely wonderful photos. 🙂 You might be interested in christophermartinphotography.com. He’s been doing some pretty fantastic pictures of owls lately – he lives in the Rocky Mountain foothills of Alberta.
I will check him out. Thanks for the tip. He lives in bird heaven in Alberta! Canada is an unfair advantage for photographers which is one of the reasons I love it so! <3
A brilliant and heartening story, Cindy – thanks so much for highlighting the fantastic work of this centre. X
Thank you for supporting it my friend & cheers to you~ 🦉
Never knew about these guys, they are wonderful. I’m glad they have people on their side now.
Hopefully it will be enough to save them! 🦉
The 🦉🦉🦉 agree with you! 😉
So lovely and so beautiful photographs… They are like cats 🙂 I love them too. Thank you, Love, nia
They both have big watchful eyes! 🦉
Super schön. Kanincheneulen gibt es leider bei uns nicht.
Danke schoen mein lieber Freund! 🦉 <3
I think all kinds of owls are magnificent creatures Cindy, but sharing your living space with another that you would expect them to eat is really something. We might learn something from that!
There is so much we can learn from animals. I am more and more aware of this everyday! Thanks for noticing~ 🦉
So proud 😀 <3
Sweetheart! Cheers to you~ <3 🦉
Adorable. Such beautiful markings.
I love owls, and we had a family of tawnies visit the garden in the evenings in the cottage. We hear a couple across the river, but so far haven’t seen any flying yet to work out what they are. Probably barn owls. There are of course a lot of owls on the boats here, we have one called Fred, but they are plastic and are supposed to deter birds from landing/nesting/pooing on the roof. Fred may be taking early retirement!
Yes. Owls are a joy to live with. We have Great Horned Owls on the roof each night and I join their duets. It is a strange sensation knowing they can see you perfectly in the dark when you can’t see them. Sometimes they silently swoop close to my head but they have never harmed me. I love them too~ 🦉🦉
I love these cute little guys!!
Your photos are superb.
Thanks for bringing these beautiful birds to my day😊
Thank you more for appreciating the 🦉🦉🦉!
Great pics – you wouldn’t want to be their prey, would you?
No. I am not representing the mouse’s point of view which must be utterly terrifying. They are silent fliers!
So amazing photos!
So kind of you and so appreciated too! 🦉
El mochuelo tiene cara inteligente. Me encanta la expresión de su mirada! Hay que protegerlos del mundo hostil. Un abrazo Cindy <3
Gracias por preocuparse por los buhos. Ojala nuestro mundo fuera un lugar mas amable. Abrazos a ti! <3 🦉
The 🦉🦉 and I thank you!
I wouldn’t mind being owled every day! 🙂
There is one here that comes visiting my little jungle, mostly in winter – of course in the middle of the night, probably looking for some mice… his call tells me it is a wood owl/tawny owl but as it would probably be gone if I tried to open the window and try to see it in the dark, I just enjoy his eery call 🙂
I love listening to them call at night! I am glad you get to experience this. It creates the most wonderful, peaceful feeling. We have Great Horned Owls that do this almost every night. Thank you for caring about the 🦉🦉🦉!
<3 <3 <3
beautiful creature and stunning photo’s
Thank you for your kindness~ 🦉
Burrowing owls are such funny, adorable birds. Years ago when I lived in NM, the power company had a webcam at a nest of them. They were fascinating. Mega hugs.
Oh that would be fascinating! I would love to monitor the development of the chicks. We have an owl box at The Holler but the woodpeckers moved into it! 🦉
These owls are well fed. The photographs say so, Cindy. 🙂
Yes! You are right. Well fed & healthy~ 🦉
Another great spot to visit near Salton Seas. Love the photos, Cindy. Their eyes are amazing.
Those 🦉 eyes don’t miss a thing do they!
What a serious looking cutie. He looks like he could use a hug. <3
They are seriously adorable even though they are serious and effective predators~ 🦉
That is the amazing thing that they share the burrow with the furries and don’t eat them.
Usually they take over abandoned burrows and I don’t know how it works if there are squirrel babies in an occupied burrow. Maybe someone will read this and tell us……
I’d be surprised if the owls didn’t invite the squirrels to lunch.
Laughing…..the only mitigating factor is size. These owls are very small~
Seeing a Burrowing Owl is on my life to-do list! I think they are the cutest things. Thanks for sharing your photos of these beauties and letting us know where we can see them in person, Cindy! ❤️
If you do go, please let me know and I can give you some tips. I know where an active burrow is now~ 🦉
Thanks, Cindy! It may be a while before we’re back in CA though. We usually do cross country trips when hubby is on sabbatical. 🙂
Wonderful shots, but how sad that they too are at risk of extinction, as are the other species, which is a terrible prospect.
It is a terrible thing, losing species we know about and others we have never seen.
Thanks Cindy! I didn’t know about burrowing owls. They certainly look cute and I would love to see them burrowing.
I looked in the burrow from a distance with telephoto and saw lots of fish skeletons. So they fish too! Smart owls~ 🦉
Cool. I love your photos and engaging back stories. Thank you.
Must look up the Sonny Bono reserve next time I’m back in Southern California!
Get in touch with me before you go, so I can give you tips to make your experience better~ 🦉
Every time I see an owl, I think of Winnie the Pooh. “Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.” A.A. Milne
I love Milne. I did a post on his house a few years ago. It is every bit as charming as you could imagine~ 🦉<3
I agree! <3
They are so cute and your photos capture them in beautiful detail!
Merci beaucoup mon ami~ 🦉
Oh wow! I love these photos, Sue. Great catchs.
I am so happy you do and thank you! 🦉
These little owls are the cutest! Wonderful pictures…but sad their numbers are decreasing. I’d love to see them in the wild. I got this short ‘Thank You’ video on them from Cornell Lab of Ornithology last week. Thought you might enjoy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uz4_jwH05GA&feature=share
Unbelieveable! Eight chicks. You can see how utterly beguiling they are and then imagine basically wiping them out in San Diego. Thank you for sending this to me. I am sending it on. I am always over at Cornell’s lab page identifying birds, as I can tell, are you! <3 This made me smile! Thank you Debbie~
Thank you for this post and the amazing pictures, as always. You are an amazing photographer that captures the very essence of the subjects you choose. Such a blessing you are in the world to record the life of such amazing beings.
Your incredibly kind comment truly touched my heart. <3 <3
Such beautiful captures, amazing shots as always Cindy! 🙂
So thoughtful of you and so appreciated too~ <3
I’ve never heard of burrowing owls. Thanks for sharing this.
Honored to introduce you & thank for appreciating them! 🦉
More owls?? Cindy, what a fabulous treat — thank you! These darling little burrowing owls are just as cute as can be. I think I’d like to have one! I’m sure they’re far too rare to be considered pets (and I can just imagine what Dallas would do with one), but oh, they’re precious!!
They are inquisitive and clever and interesting in us. They watch us if we are still. I don’t want to imagine our world without them. Thank you for appreciating the 🦉🦉 Debbie!
I love owls, they’re so beautiful.
The 🦉🦉, and I, think you have excellent taste! 😉
Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
These photographs of the beautiful owls are lovely.
Awww, thank you Charles on behalf of the 🦉🦉 and I!
They do make one wonder just hoo is studying hoo. 🙂
🦉🦉 surely doo!
These photos are stunning!
Ahh, I am honored! Thank you for your kindness~ 🦉
These burrowing owls are sooooo cute 😀 I loved every photo, Cindy!!
The 🦉🦉 love you! And do do I!
Awww, Cindy! I’m just finishing up on the computer for the day and read your comment.. lovely words to read <3 Sending love!
Visa versa 2UX2!
This is such an amazing post. I love this owl, and that it shares living space.
I am so saddened every time I hear an animal is endangered. How hypocritical & sickenly ironic that man protects that which he has helped destroy.
Cindy, I found a gorgeous Owl Mural in Winnipeg. I’m not sure when I will post it, but when I do, may I link to this post & thank you when I do? I believe it will be a great teaching moment. _Resa xo
I would be most honored Resa and I am so looking forward to seeing the mural! We were at the Salton Sea yesterday and watched owls all afternoon. I so agree with you, having to protect species that we drive the drink of extinction says a lot about our species and it very sad! <3
I think we have a teaching moment… of of sorts here. I will do the Owl post In March with the link to your Owl post.
I am doing Kids’ month again this year, for all of March.
I will have kid friendly murals & street art, poets are dedicating some poetry to go with the art, I’ll do at least 1 book review of a youth book, Gigi did 3 Chicklets posts for me and I will feature several prominent Children’s Charities on my Sidebar for the month.
I’m so excited!!!
Oh my gosh! Sounds so creative and wonderful! Now I am excited too~ <3
Amazing photos, Cindy. I plan to visit them at the Wildlife Center the next time I’m in San Diego!
Wonderful! Let me know when you are coming so I can share some tips.
That is amazing that gophers and squirrels share burrows with them. Maybe not when babies are small? I really think animals are evolving as fast as we are devolving. On cold night we had a pair of small red foxes, along with a pair of mediums sized raccoons, and a pair of possums and a pair of armadillos all eating peaceably close together under our bird feeders. And a friend posted a photo last week of a hawk and a male cardinal on the same branch in a tree outsider her house. A shame we don’t seem able to share as well as wild animals.
“I really think animals are evolving as fast as we are devolving.” I couldn’t possibly agree with you more. We are devolving moving to a more primitive, base state. Animals have so much to teach us, but too many of us aren’t listening and don’t care.
Science is finally starting to catch up by studying animal intelligence. Rats are compassionate, ravens have a sense of personal consciousness, animals have been documented grieving, having funerals, helping other species that in trouble. Maybe we never really wanted to know all this because maybe we suspect animals are nicer than we are. They don’t have wars, genocides, bombs. They don’t pollute the planet, drive species to extinction. They don’t amass wealth, withdraw health insurance.
You really got me going here didn’t you? Obviously what you say resonates with me.
I find your blogs so interesting. What you are doing is so thankful. The pictures tell all. You are a great humanitarion! I have nominated you for the “Blogger Recognition Award”. You have an outstanding blog. Your pictures are at times breathtaking! 💖 I hope you will accept the award. You need to go to my blog for details. simplysplendidfood.com. Thank you for having a great blog!
Your kind thoughtfulness touched my heart. Thank you for such lovely thoughts and for your much appreciated support. Unfortunately I am an award free blog but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate your generous consideration. Thank you my friend and cheers to you! <3 <3
Breathtakingly exquisite. 🙂
Awww, you are such a nice friend~ <3 🦉
Reblogged this on Random Ramblings; Myriad Musings and commented:
I love owls…I have yet to see one in the wild, though! I’ve seen more bats than owls – these nocturnal birds are elusive, and remarkably silent. Wonderful photos!
They are extremely elusive in my neck of the woods too. Seeing one is always cause for celebration, although I do hear them almost every night. Thank you for supporting the 🦉🦉 my friend & cheers to you!
Owl be darned. Fascinating. I was in a condo complex the other day and a coyote was sauntering down the street mid-afternoon. It’s like post-apocalypse only the day before, not the day after.
Coyotes are getting very bold. He was probably looking for a small dog or cat to eat, so hopefully your neighbors keep a careful eye out on their pets. We have three packs of them at The Holler. They tend to come closest when they are very hungry!
Great shots Cindy. I’m in awe of owls. There’s one who lives just outside our dining room window. I hear it at night and in early morning, but have never seen it. Don’t know what kind it is.
We have Great Horned Owls that call on our roof almost nightly. It’s wonderful isn’t it. We always stop what are doing to listen to them. 🦉
Omg, I love owls. My cat, Phoebe, looked just like an owl. I wish I could upload a photo to show you. Gorgeous photos, Cindy 💖
An 🦉 Cat! Awesome~ <3
Owl of this world, my friend! ٩(ó｡ò۶ ♡)))♬
🦉 ٩(ó｡ò۶ ♡)))♬ 🦉
Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
There are definitely far worse ways to start the week than looking at images of wildlife… Cindy Knoke gets us all off to a brilliant week with her images of the wisest bird of them all… the owl.
Thank you dear Sally from the 🦉🦉 and I and have a hooting good week my friend~ <3
Thanks Cindy..will do my best.. ♥
Vielen dank mein lieber Freund! 🦉
I’m very glad to learn about this!
Owls are special to me, and once my schedule relaxes, I’ll enjoy being feathery and present with these beauties at the Wildlife Refuge in SD. Have a wonderful week ahead!
The 🦉🦉 are grateful and so am I! Hope you enjoy your feathered adventure~ <3
They are so cute and one can’t help wondering: what are they thinking?
Most of an owls brain is taken up by their visual center, so it’s a good bet they think about what they are looking at! 🦉
Wunderschöne Aufnahmen, liebe Freundin…
Du bist sehr nett. Vielen Dank! 🦉
Beautiful shots, Cindy! The owl is the mascot at my daughter’s college (Warren Wilson), and it makes for a regal logo. Also, there’s a place similar here in Charlotte, where owls and other raptors are rehabilitated and housed if they cannot be released into the wild.
I am so impressed with people who donate their time for the greater good, wild life rescue people are such. So glad to hear about the facility in Charlotte. My husband was a prof at UNC so you were neighbors! Cheers to you Eli & thank you for appreciating the wise little 🦉🦉!
My school and his were rivals, Cindy. Well, honestly, my school hated his and his school didn’t know we existed! #samething
Laughing…..My son in law went to KU and I happily told some people I met who were Kansas State alumni, and they completely snubbed me. I guess the two schools dislike each other. These people were my age for heavens sake!
Majestic. Wise. And s.o.f.t.
Love the close up. I would never have a better opportunity than your close ups. Thank you, Cindy, for sharing. <3 <3 🙂
Thank you more for such kind appreciation! 🦉
Cindy, these are beautiful! Thank you for posting! K. D.
Thank you much more for appreciating them & cheers to you!
Oh Lordy these guys are loveable… RH
I’m heading out to The Salton Sea today to see if I can find some more! 🦉
Such a beautiful creature!
And tiny too! 🦉
Amazing pics, Cindy… this little owl is very like our NZ owl called a morepork… we watch them diving for moths in the light of a search light and calling to each other, sounding like the words ‘ more pork’
How fun! “More pork!” I would love to hear that!
Hi Cindy, I really love owls. We used to have some in our neigbourhood, but sadly we don’t see them anymore due to people using rat poison on vermin. However, there is a campaign of awareness to try and bring them back. Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures! 🙂
Oh how sad! I hope the campaign works.
Beautiful. We have a resident owl in our backyard in NH. That owl is a constant source of joy (or fear, if you are one of our many chipmunks!)
They are a lot of fun to observe, particularly is you are not a chipmunk! My parents lived in Dover, beautiful state!
You can see every feather.
Shows how complicated they are doesn’t it!
Tu sei molto gentile e molto apprezzato!
Absolutely magnificent creatures.
The 🦉🦉 and I thank you!
Smashing photos, once again, Cindy!
Thank you for you kindness my friend~
Beautiful photography of fascinating creatures! 🙂 <3
Hugs to you Linda and hope all is well with you and the kitty-kats~ <3 🦉
Doing good, Cindy, thanks! 😀
Love the gentle coloring of these birds– They look so soft and almost cuddly– except for those sever eyes! So interesting Cindy. thanks thank.
They are pretty darn adorable aren’t they and very curious too which makes them even more beguiling. So pleased you enjoyed them Rhonda & cheers to you my friend~
Piękne zdjęcie sowy.
Dziękuję i okrzyki zbyt ~
The 🦉🦉 and I thank you!
Merci beaucoup mon ami~
What an amazing, lovely creature. We love his eyes. 🙂
Yes, they are mesmerizing!
Enigmatic and mesmerising bird.
Both adjectives are quite apropos!
I like that the burrowing owls share space with other critters! This makes a cute story and fascinating fraternization! 🙂 😀
If wild animals can live together peacefully, why in the world can’t we! ( ･ὢ･ )
Very happy you like them & cheers to you!
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Sorry I missed this one, but thanks to Resa, I got to see it. Besides, I need to check my notification settings.
I fail to get lots of posts too so I know how you feel!
Sometimes the gnomes change the settings for us.
Nice little gnomes!
Look at the magnificent creature called the owl in all its glory 🙂
I love them completely!
Reblogged this on LIVING THE DREAM.
Thank you & cheers to you!
Without a doubt, the photos convey the beauty of the owl. Each of them are magnificently accomplished. Good for your art and thanks for sharing.
Awwww… I am honored and you are a most thoughtful friend Manuel. Thank you & Happy Holidays დ
I also wish you the best of the best this Christmas.