Smoky skies notwithstanding, on Sunday morning shortly after sunrise a new Burrowing Owl made its appearance in the park. This is the seventh of its kind seen this year, and the first Burrowing Owl to set down in the area reserved for it in the northeast corner of the park.
This owl chose a spot at the edge of the paved trail that winds along the perimeter of the northern part of the preserve. It sits just south of the chopped stubs of what was a big fennel bush.
As the short video below shows, the owl was alert, and checking its environment with quick swivels of its head. I could not tell at this distance whether the owl was squatting in a burrow, but it would not have far to seek. Ground squirrels have been busy digging in this area all summer, and there is a jackrabbit burrow here as well.
The video below begins with a zoom sequence that will help visitors spot the bird. In the low slanting light of sunrise, the bird was not so difficult to see. But as daylight advances, the owl will blend in more with its surroundings and become more challenging to spot.
Update Monday November 12: This owl was not seen at 8 am.