Hankerin' for more owls
After a month of watching my backyard owls, I find I'm habitually peering over to the vacant nest box every time I go in the backyard. I'm not really expecting to see anything there but it's become a bit of a habit. I figured the only thing to do to remedy this was to go and get an owl fix, so I made the 20 minute drive to check on the local Burrowing Owl families.
Burrowing Owl chicks digiscoped with Leica APO Televid 77 and Leica C-Lux 2 camera
I know there are dozens of other families of birds and lots of wildlife in the world and it's probably about time I move on, but I think I have to slowly wean myself off an owl addiction like this. It's not smart to go cold turkey!
As expected, the reliable owls were right where I'd first seen them near a decade before on my first visit to the area. Not surprisingly, given the season, these birds had young as well. There were three fledged chicks at the first burrow and four at the second <0.2>
The youngsters differ from their parents by showing orange wash on otherwise unmarked bellies, and broad solid brown breast bands. The chick above showed more buffy-orange spots on the breast than the other chicks nearby. I've visited these birds often over the years and still enjoy seeing them as much as I did the first time. I guess at heart I'm an owl fan. After all, it was a view of a Snowy Owl near my childhood home that started my fascination with birding years ago actually!
One adult perched just above the kids and roost hole scanning the area for danger. It never called or reacted to my presence though. I must have an honest face! ;) Actually, I'm certain this goes back to the advantage of digiscoping. Given the great zoom capabilities of the system, I was able to stay further back than someone with a standard long telephoto. It probably allows me to see more natural poses as well.
All the adults were in very worn, faded plumage. I didn't look it up, but suspect they will molt into fresh plumage following the breeding season. These birds are resident of course so they don't have to worry about migration. They only make local movements when forced to because of construction it seems. As I said these birds have been in this area for nearly a decade now.