Owl in 2021

Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)

The Burrowing Owl in the Nature Area on the north side of the park has been playing hide-and-go-seek with its fan base. Sometimes we can see it, sometimes not. As 2021 dawned, the bird allowed itself to be seen to reassure us that it was still very much present in the new year. On this occasion it chose a perch surrounded by rapidly growing green grass. The height of the new growth sheltered the bird from full view, but the green color offered more of a contrasting background to the owl’s brownish plumage.

The very short video above has a message. The owl only looked north toward the paved path where human observers stood for a few seconds. Of course, for photographers those are the precious moments. A bird photo is nothing without eyes. But most of the bird’s attention lay elsewhere, particularly southward, where individuals and their loose dogs are still trespassing on the protected Nature Area despite the fence. Truth be told, there needs to be more effective signage and probably some simple barriers to finally put a stop to the invasions of this supposed safe space. Here, a half hour before the owl rose up out of the grass enough to be visible, one of these human & canine invasions took place, passing just a few yards from the owl’s position:

Off-leash dog and owners trespassing in Protected Nature Area
Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)

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