When the Burrowing Owl is in the Nature Area on the north side of the park, park visitors often ask me, “How come it’s not in the area set aside for it over there?” They mean the sliver of land on the northeast corner of the park surrounded by an artistic cable fence. The answer I give is, “It didn’t get the memo.” Well, now it looks like the owl did get the memo. It’s been seen for almost a week in the Burrowing Owl Sanctuary. Thanks to the sharp eyes of regular park visitor Jimmy Jimenez, who first spotted it this morning, I was able to photograph and video the bird and to show it to a dozen or so passing park visitors. Several had never seen a Burrowing Owl before; others not for a long time.
The owl this time was again in a new spot. Not in the Ground Squirrel burrow very close to one of the gates, and not out in the open on the paved pathway, as in recent days, but on another burrow next to a bush just east of the pavement and on the water’s edge. Some owls in previous years have chosen this location for its safety features: vegetation overhead to hide from flying raptors, and backed up to water where dogs can’t approach. While I watched it the owl remained alert, swiveling its head this way and that, sometimes looking up, once or twice ducking into the burrow, but shortly popping up again.