Burrowing Owls

Although I still have good shots from the Malheur trip I haven’t posted, I’m thinking it’s time to move on, not that I haven’t already done so here in my real life. By now, the trip seems like a distant memory not an immediate part of my life. I’m always slightly amused by authors who talk about “living in the moment” because as far as I’ve determined the only way to write about anything that has actually happened is to write about the past. In fact, if you’re not careful it seems like blogging can keep you from living in the present.

Anyway, another highlight of the trip, another first, was finally locating a Burrowing Owl, something I’ve heard about for years but have never been able to find. This time a waitress at the Narrows Cafe told me where to find a burrow. I was both skeptical and optimistic because her description was so detailed that I was sure I could find the spot. I drove to the described place, got out of my car and walked along the road for about a quarter of a mile, not finding a thing.

It was only after I turned back to go to the car that I felt a pair of eyes across the road looking at me. At first I thought it was just another prairie dog, but a quick look through the 400mm lens confirmed it was my first ever Burrowing Owl.

Burrowing Owl

Since it was late and the light was quickly fading, I decided to go back the next day with my 500mm lens and doubler. Unfortunately, this time the owl seemed determined to ignore me and I never could capture that awesome stare

Burrowing Owl

even though I got a better shot of its feathers.

This shot, though, probably best illustrates why I’ve had such a hard time finding them with just a vague description of their burrow. Our army would do well to borrow this for their desert camouflage.

Burrowing Owl

This may well turn out to be the year of the owl for me, a bird I’ve never had very good luck finding in the past.

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