The 20 most popular reader photos of 2017

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From the snowy north and wild west to the inky sea and nighttime sky, our fabulous reader photos show Mother Nature at her marvelous best.

We have the best readers. The following photographs were the year's most popular from our "Photo of the Day" feature, images of which are selected from the TreeHugger Reader Photo Pool on Flickr. We thank all of the readers who submitted to the group ... and all of the readers who enjoyed their work! First up, a sparrow-sized owl with moxie:

Northern pygmy owl is the cutest killer around

Behold the northern pygmy owl ... and actually, you could probably literally hold one in your hand. At 6 to 7 inches in length, these little cuties are about the size of a house sparrow. But ... they are owls. And owls are supernaturally gifted hunters. And these miniature ones can take prey up to three times bigger than they are – they've even been known to take chickens! Little owl, little fear.

Thanks to Mike Kelly for this wonderful shot of the little owl with big moxie.

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