It Has Been A Slow Year For Owls, At Least For Me

It Has Been A Slow Year For Owls, At Least For Me

I have been fascinated by butterflies and sunsets lately but let’s get back to what I love to photograph the most, birds. And owls are very near the top of the list of things I love to photograph. This year, however, has been slow for me in finding owls to photograph and observe. I have come across a couple short eared owls and a small handful of burrowing owls but it hasn’t been the banner type of year last year seemed to be for me.

burrowing owl
A burrowing owl posing for a portrait on an old wooden fence post.

A couple weeks ago I did come across a small group of burrowing owls. It was in a location of a known nest so I can only assume it was the family of owls which resided in the roadside burrow. It is interesting to note I see a definite time of day when I do see burrowing owls the most frequent and that is early morning and late evening. Not really a surprise as most animals tend to shy away from the heat of the day when it is this blistering hot. On this particular day I was having almost no luck finding any owls to speak of until about 30 minutes before the sun set. The roads I was driving on for the past 2 hours all of a sudden came alive with life. Birds of all kinds seemingly came out of the proverbial woodwork to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and impending shade.

burrowing owl
Burrowing owls have been a little harder to find this year for some reason.

The downside to this is I was up against the clock to get a few images for my efforts. Me and the sun were deadlocked in a heated battle of which I knew my time would soon be up. I drove up and down the deserted country roads hoping for a close encounter of a burrowing owl gracious enough to allow its portrait to be taken. I am always amazed at how well most of them seem to sit for a photographer. I wish short eared owls would be as friendly as the burrowing owl as they seem to be short with their patience for us photogs hoping to capture their beauty on film.

burrowing owl
A burrowing owl giving me a slightly different pose.

I was able to get a few images of the burrowing owl, one of which on an old wooden fence post which I prefer over the metal t-posts used on many of the fences where I search for owls. I still haven’t captured my ideal owl image yet, at least for the burrowing owl that is. I seem to get great images but none yet on the preferred perch. I will keep looking and enjoy the time spent out photographing owls and the rest of what nature has to offer.

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