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This has become the Summer of the Burrowing Owls for me. I keep encountering these cute little owls. I find them to be irresistibly photogenic and often quite cooperative and so, I’ve collected dozens of images of them. I don’t want to turn this blog into a Burrowing Owl site, but I also want to post my favorites. So, from time to time I will post a clutch of images.
For today, I’ve chosen four. The owls in these images aren’t all from the same burrow but from a couple of locations scattered around the farmlands.
The owl in this first image is standing guard over its family’s burrow, using a gas pipeline marker as an elevated observation post. Southern Arizona’s farmlands are as flat as a tabletop and therefore, a perch that is elevated even a meter or two above a field serves as an excellent vantage point for an owl who is on the alert for food or danger. I frequently observe owls perching on man-made perches and a few low natural perches as well.
The owl in the next two images is doing a bit of stretching.
Burrowing Owls seem to spend a lot of time just hanging out near their burrows’ entrances. It doesn’t seem to be all that exciting to me and perhaps a little bit of stretching now and then relieves the boredom. Just as likely, possibly more so, the owls stretch in order to keep their flight muscles warmed up and ready to respond to approaching danger or an opportunity to capture prey.
Here’s one more owl, this time perching atop a mound of discarded sod on the premises of a turf farm. Not a very high elevation but the owl seems to be pleased with its perch. In my drives through the farms I often pass by this particular location and I frequently see an owl perching there.
Images made with a Canon R5, Canon EF 400mm f4 DO II lens+Canon EF 1.4x telextender, M setting (auto ISO). First image, ISO 400, f5.6 @ 1/3200. Second through fourth images, ISO 400, f6.3 @ !/3200, -1/3 stop exposure compensation.