A Few More Burrowing Owls

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It seems that I never pass up the opportunity to photograph Burrowing Owls.  They’re generally not a difficult subject to photograph but, more importantly, I find them to be irresistibly cute.

I was driving on a rural road very early this morning, about 1/2 hour after sunrise, when I encountered a colony of Burrowing Owl burrows.  These birds will sometimes nest in clusters and that was the case with this morning’s encounter.  I counted at least four burrows in a 1/4 mile stretch of road.  The road had an embankment on one side surmounted by an irrigation canal and the owls had dug their burrows into the embankment.  This first bird perched on a piece of old agricultural equipment, surveilling his domain.

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A second owl perched on a small elevated hummock.  It seemed to be indifferent to my presence, but in fact, it watched me warily even as it pretended not to.

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A third bird stood guard a few yards down the road.  I was lucky in that I caught it at the instant that it took flight.  In that instant it seemed to be giving its best impression of a Rolls Royce hood ornament.

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If you look closely at this photo you’ll see that its feet are just beginning to lift off the ground.

Young birds were absent this morning. All three birds that I photographed were adults.  That doesn’t mean that the kids weren’t there.  They could very well have been hiding down in their burrows.

Images made with a Canon 5Diii, 400 DO+1.4X Extender, aperture priority setting, ISO 1000, all images shot at f6.3.  The first image photographed at 1/2500, images two through four at 1/3200, image five at 1/6400.

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