“Pssst! Wake Up! That Guy’s Back!”

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There is a family of Burrowing Owls whose burrow I pass every time I drive through agricultural country near Tucson.  I always stop at least briefly to see what they’re up to and I frequently photograph them.  It may be my imagination but they seem to have become used to my appearance.  I’ve made it a practice not to leave my car as I watch them but to photograph them through an open window.  They appear not to find that to be intimidating.  As a rule they neither fly nor hide nor even look particularly upset when I park a few yards away to observe them and take some pictures.

I passed by the burrow a few days ago.  It was a warm morning — rapidly becoming hot — and two adult birds were perched, side by side, just above the burrow’s entrance.  The owls were plainly enjoying the sun, basking, and asleep.  As I parked and rolled down my window, one of the owls woke up and turned to its still-dozing companion, almost as if to tell it that it should wake up.


A few moments later the second owl awoke and seemed to be struggling to shake the sleep out of its eyes.


Finally, both owls looked at me, but without much interest.


I drove off with the two birds still standing there.  I passed by the same location several minutes later.  Both birds were in the exact same spot, still dozing in the sun.  Sometimes, for Burrowing Owls, life can be good.

Images made with a Canon 5Diii, 100-400mm f4-5.6 ISII zoom lens+1.4x telextender, M setting, ISO 500, f9 @ 1/1600.


One response to ““Pssst! Wake Up! That Guy’s Back!””

  1. Leslie Elkin Leathers says :

    Hi Steve, I met you a year ago at ten Desert Museum, I enjoy your photos and was wondering where near Tucson you can see the burrowing owls? I would love to see them!

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