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Burrowing Owl

I mentioned a few weeks ago that we saw Burrowing Owls on a birding trip at Antelope Island.

During that trip we also saw buffalo, a porcupine, antelope and a coyote.  Jon took the most awesome picture of the coyote passing in front of an antelope.

This was one of those trips where you need a guide because the Burrowing Owl nests on the ground and it’s pretty hard to figure out which bush contains owls.  This picture below includes a man-made nest for the owl.  That is why the green is extra bright.

And the natural ones are even harder to find.

Can you see the owl in the center of the fake bush?  The guide took us right up to the nesting site.  I was a bit uncomfortable with her letting a big group of us come and disturb the nesting site but I wasn’t so opposed that I didn’t go along with the rest of the group.  It meant that I got some great close-ups of the owl.

The owl was pretty agitated that we were disturbing the nest site.  She bobbed up and down.

The nesting site was also very interesting.  Here’s the box.

The guide took apart one of the pellets to show us that the Burrowing Owl eats small birds.


4 Responses to “Burrowing Owl”

  1. Tiffany says:

    Seriously… burrowing owls! So lucky, amazing pictures. However, I think the guide was lacking some ethics taking so many people too close and stressing the birds out. Since the owl was showing stress, the right thing to do was move away.

    Love the antelope/coyote photo – you don’t see that often!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Yeah, I agree. The other guides didn’t get nearly so close.

  3. Cindy says:

    Great photos. Love the antelope/coyote photo too! It’s great that Jon is getting into the photography too!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Yes, that was when I was renting a fancy Nikon lens so Jon and I were taking pictures to compare the quality of the lenses. In the end I think my Sigma 150-500mm is only a little softer than the Nikon 150-300mm with the 1.7 teleconverter.

    It’s nice having two people taking pictures of the same event because you can miss so much by virtue of your angle or timing. For this picture, Jon was in the backseat of the car and I didn’t get decent pictures of the coyote.