Sunday Morning

Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) Jan. 15 2023

The Burrowing Owl might have had a late night Saturday night. This morning at around 10 it was sleepy. It being Sunday morning, lots more people than usual went walking in the park, and nearly all of them wanted to see the owl. So the bird had an almost uninterrupted string of admirers, many of them vocal in their surprise, animation, charm, and happiness. If any of that positive energy disturbed the owl in the slightest, it showed no sign of it. Or perhaps the presence of so many large featherless bipeds in its proximity gave the owl a feeling of security. It might have calculated that the human hubbub would motivate most raptors to go foraging in a quieter spot elsewhere. So, when lots of people are around, it’s a good time for a bird to take a nap. At least where the bird’s perch is on the rocks near the water, in a spot where loose dogs can’t see it and even if they could, they would have a very hard time reaching it.

People keep asking me where is the owl they saw last year on the green next to the big flat rock just a few feet from the fence. The best information is that the bird’s left wing was damaged and dragging on the ground. Nobody admits to seeing it happen but very likely a dog got over or through the “art” fence and injured the owl. We mobilized to rescue it the next day after seeing its injury but the bird had disappeared and could not be found. The bird probably crawled into a burrow and died. Even if somehow it managed to survive, it was unlikely to come back here.

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