Owl Diary: Sunday 1/20

Another rainy day. When I visited at about 10 in the morning, the rain fell in a steady light shower with the occasional jolt of heavier stuff. It was not yet enough to faze the two resident Burrowing Owls. The east owl once again took up position on a pointy rock next to and higher than its usual hideaway under a brush awning in the rip-rap, the same as last Friday. In that position it had no shelter whatever. It bore the rain with no sign of discomfort. On the contrary, it seemed a bit sleepy, its eyes at about half mast. Possibly it feels that during rainfall there is less danger from flying raptors like hawks, falcons, and kites.

East owl on rock higher than its usual roost under the brush awning, to the left

When the owl stands in that position, park visitors can see it from outside the fence. Here is a shot of the setting. Note the bush and to its left the rusty iron anchor. The owl is the brown bump right behind the anchor. Visitors looking for their first owl often mistake a round rock for an owl. Hint: count to ten. If the rock swivels its head, it’s an owl. If it scurries away, it’s a ground squirrel. If neither, it’s a rock.

East owl just visible as a brown bump at the water’s edge

The north owl occupied its usual position, also ignoring the rain. Apart from the canopy of old fennel above its head, which could not have stopped many drops, the bird stood exposed. I’m guessing that these owls have some kind of rain tolerance threshold, up to which they’ll stay in the open. I did not have time or inclination to stick around today to see when they’d had enough and sought shelter.

North owl in its usual spot, ignoring the rain

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