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I made a recent visit to the burrow site of a pair of Burrowing Owls that I have been following for more than two years. In both 2019 and 2020 the resident pair had raised offspring and I spent some time each year making family portraits.
I was very pleased to see that the pair is still in residence.
I found them sitting at burrow’s edge, apparently enjoying the warm spring sunshine.
Male and female Burrowing Owls have identical plumage. The male’s plumage often is a bit more pale than is the female’s because males tend to spend more time sitting in direct sunlight — on “guard duty” adjacent to their burrows — than do females. Assuming that to be the case with this pair, I’d speculate that the owl on the left, with his very slightly lighter plumage, is the male. I freely admit that I could be wrong.
In the past two years, this pair’s offspring began appearing outside of the family burrow sometime in mid or late May and fledged in early June. If this pair is reproducing this year it’s likely that there are eggs in the burrow that soon will hatch. I will be checking back on these owls periodically to see what’s going on.
Image made with a Canon R5, Canon RF 100-500mm f4.5-7.1 IS L zoom lens+1.4x Canon RF telextender, M setting (auto ISO), ISO 500, f10 @ 1/1600, +1/3 stop exposure compensation.