The Burrowing Owl that was first spotted on October 21 is now in its second week of residence, setting a record for the year, and raising hopes that Cesar Chavez Park will have at least one of the beloved birds in residence for the winter season.
Owl docent Mary M. was already at the scene, a few feet away, when I arrived. The owl seemed unfazed by our presence. It mostly hunkered down, squatting on both legs, only occasionally raising its head. Its low posture didn’t give it complete shelter from the chilly 10 mph northerly breeze, but the bird didn’t seem to mind. It could have jumped to a lower rock for wind shelter.
The owl’s digestive system expels liquids in the form of a whitish fluid that stains the rock. The white markings work at cross-purposes to the owl’s excellent natural camouflage. A questing eye might well miss the bird, but lock on to the sprawling white markings.