After Rain, New Owl


After several days of heavy rains and zero Burrowing Owls sighted anywhere in the park, a new owl appeared this sunny morning in a familiar spot: the big rocks behind the fennel below the Barn Owl box about 200 yards west of the preserved area.  This bird resembled the Very Cautious Owl first seen at this same spot on November 2 and then again on November 6.  It zeroed in on this photographer even when I was many yards away and peering through a jungle of thick vegetation.  At the slightest approach off the paved path above it, the owl hopped off its perch and hid.  However, it re-emerged minutes later and took up a post on a higher rock where it actually became more visible from a different angle.  This was very different behavior than Owl No. 4, first spotted on October 21, which stayed for eight days and showed no concern when humans approached.

I noted, by the way, that the rainstorms had washed clean the rock where this and previous owls perched.  The glaring white waste fluids dropped by Owl No. 4 in its week-long stay coated this rock with prominent abstract patterns that tended to defeat the birds’ excellent natural camouflage.  The bird might blend in with the rock but the white patterns stood out.  No more.

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