With its natural talent at blending into the environment enhanced by a dense morning fog, this Burrowing Owl defied all but the most eagle-eyed park visitors, unless equipped with binoculars, scope, or long zoom camera. As I stood by my trusty Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 mounted on a tripod, no fewer than seven park visitors stopped, saw the owl in the camera’s display screen, and then tried but failed to see the bird with eyes unaided.
This owl sat in the same spot as the bird in Owl Sighting No. 7 dated November 11. Whether it’s the same bird is impossible to say. Obviously the owls can tell one another apart, most probably by the pattern of dots on their head and breast, but it’s hard for humans to distinguish them without a tight close-up. That wasn’t possible with this bird, even with the image contrast boosted post-production.
Burrowing Owl docent Mary M. reported seeing this owl (or an owl in this same spot) yesterday morning. It’s encouraging that the bird is here for a second day. Hopefully it’ll settle in for the season. We’ll see.
It was a distinct pleasure to see the delight on park visitors’ faces when they peered at the camera screen and saw the bird. “I’ve never seen one in person before!” “Wow!” “Amazing!” And so forth.