Dried Owl

Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) Jan. 1 2023

After the big rainstorm of the past two days, the Burrowing Owl looked perfectly dry and none the worse for wear. In fact it seemed squeaky clean, as you might expect after a very long shower. At the time I filmed it, around 9 am, the owl stood in Perch A, the spot on the rocky eastern slope of the Burrowing Owl Sanctuary, out of park visitors’ sight. You had to stand on the Open Circle Viewpoint with a telephoto lens or binoculars to see it.

Some park visitors reported last week that when the owl is spotted in Perch A in the early morning, it sometimes moves to Perch B later. I had the opportunity to check on the owl again today shortly after noon, and the bird still remained at Perch A. This was a disappointment to a number of park visitors who had hoped to see the bird on this special day. Once again I talked with several park visitors who were hoping to see the owl that last winter perched on the grass in plain sight next to the big flat rock.

On my way to the owl area in the morning, I saw a little flock of maybe a dozen Western Meadowlarks on the meadow near the southeast corner of the park. They moved frequently and I was only able to get a few seconds of video of one bird in this flock, below. Western Meadowlarks forage and nest on the ground. They sometimes perch on shrubs or in trees for singing and socializing, but their main habitat is in the grass. It’s important to minimize disturbances to these beautiful native birds.

Western Meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta)

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