It’s been a tough summer for me with Burrowing Owls. Normally I spend a lot of time photographing them but this year they’ve been mostly uncooperative to the extreme – too skittish, too far away, too buried in vegetation and too scarce.
But I had a pleasant surprise two days ago on Antelope Island.
1/2500, f/7.1, ISO 400, 500 f/4, 1.4 tc
I was just about to head for home after another frustrating morning when I saw what I thought was a meadowlark landing right next to the road. I slowly stopped and looked more carefully and it turned out to be a Burrowing Owl. And it didn’t fly off, which amazed me! The bird allowed me to spend 9 minutes with it until a young lady on a bicycle came up behind me and scared it off. It didn’t give me much pose variety so I’m only posting one shot but what fun that this considerate bird finally allowed me to relieve my Burrowing Owl “itch”.
You’ll notice that this bird is banded. I’m aware that park staff (and others) banded quite a few juveniles on the island two summers ago. It would be interesting to know if this bird was one of the juvies that was banded last year and returned this year. I’ve done some inquiries and sent some close-up images of the bands (some numbers can be read) but haven’t yet heard back…
I’m always struck by just how small Burrowing Owls are, especially after such a long hiatus from them…