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Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl puts the brakes on

Sheer luck that I captured this image. I was taking pictures of this little one when it suddenly took off (they never give a warning). I was furiously trying to keep up and the camera was struggling to focus on the fast moving, small owl.

I managed this one, good shot and am pretty darned pleased with it. I wasn’t zoomed in as far as I would like so I had to crop it quite a bit and it was strongly backlit but all in all, a fun image.

Taken in Adams County, Colorado.

A Burrowing Owl is seen just as it touches down at a burrow.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Burrowing Owl is seen just as it touches down at a burrow. (© Tony’s Takes)

Big, bright eyes keep close watch

My photo time this week was greatly inhibited by my work schedule.  I did however stop and check out a pair of Burrowing Owls on my way home yesterday.  The pair are doing quite well and keeping close watch on strangers that approach.  The eyes on these little ones are just awesome!

Taken near Denver International Airport, Colorado, USA.

Burrowing Owls keep close watch from their burrow near Denver International Airport.   (© Tony’s Takes)

Burrowing Owls keep close watch from their burrow near Denver International Airport. (© Tony’s Takes)

 

Trouble-making Burrowing Owls

Why are they troublemakers? See my post from earlier today. 😉

This very cute couple was hanging out near Denver International Airport this morning. Yes, there are two – look beneath the rear end of the standing one. The one in the burrow was definitely more wary and only showed itself fully once. The other was much more tolerant.

These little owls have got to be the most entertaining birds I have ever seen, especially their young ones which will arrive in late May / early June. I am really excited to see them back for the season and you can expect to see many more pics of them.

Scroll down to view the complete gallery from today.

Two Burrowing Owls keep close watch near Denver International Airport.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Two Burrowing Owls keep close watch near Denver International Airport. (© Tony’s Takes)

Burrowing Owls called the PoPo on me

Burrowing Owls called the PoPo on me. Nah, not really but the two made for a very interesting morning.

I stopped to check out one of the reported burrowing owl spots just northeast of Denver International Airport. Found the pair and was having a good time taking pictures of them from my truck. I noticed an SUV with the City of Denver logo on the doors drive by a few times checking me out and figured he didn’t like me being where I was at. Note however that I was NOT in any of the restricted stopping areas that are out there – I was well outside them.

After 15 minutes or so clouds move in so I decide to move on and head back west. Sure enough, here comes a Denver Police Department SUV that promptly flips a u-turn behind me and pulls me over. Very nice guy. He explains that airport security was getting nervous because I was taking pics near airport facilities. I tell him I was checking out owls and even show him my captures from the morning. He then asks for my ID and goes back to his car to check it out.

Next thing I know two more cop cars show up (they were likely called in advance before they knew I wasn’t a terrorist and instead just a dumb photographer). They all walk up and we begin chit-chatting, showed them my pictures and one even pointed out where he had seen some eagles recently. They reiterate that the fact I was close to the airport got their attention but they also admit that I was in a perfectly legal spot parked alongside a public road so did nothing wrong.

It was a pleasant encounter for sure although I have to say this is the first time my photographic activity has caused such a stir from law enforcement. LOL! Anyway, I thought you might enjoy the story and picture.

Three Denver Police vehicles respond after I roused suspicions taking pictures of Burrowing Owls near Denver International Airport.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Three Denver Police vehicles respond after I roused suspicions taking pictures of Burrowing Owls near Denver International Airport. (© Tony’s Takes)

Hanging on and watching out

This Burrowing Owl and its clan were a hoot (pun intended) to watch this past summer. They have since left Colorado for southern latitudes where the weather is warmer during the winter. These little owls have a symbiotic relationship with prairie dogs, sharing their colonies with both sounding the alert when predators approach.

A burrowing owl keeps watch on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

A burrowing owl keeps watch on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

S T R E T C H

A burrowing owl does its morning stretches today out north of Denver  International Airport.

A burrowing own does its morning stretches - on one leg. © Tony’s Takes

A burrowing own does its morning stretches – on one leg. © Tony’s Takes

The stare of the Burrowing Owl

Taken yesterday morning near Denver International Airport, this adult Burrowing Owl was surprisingly tolerant of my presence and let me take pictures of it from every angle.  It did keep a watchful eye as it sat on a yucca plant shoot. Please feel free to share. 

The stare of a Burrowing Owl. © Tony’s Takes

The stare of a Burrowing Owl. © Tony’s Takes

Burrowing Owl owlet stands at attention

Finally! It took some rather stealthy work but I was finally able to get some decent pics of burrowing owls. These were found north of Denver International Airport. Two owlets were seen – the parents must have been napping in their burrows. Will try tomorrow to see if I can get the whole clan.
A burrowing owl owlet keeps a watchful look. © Tony’s Takes

A burrowing owl owlet keeps a watchful look. © Tony’s Takes

Can I help you?

A burrowing owl seems a bit annoyed with a neighboring prairie dog.  Taken this evening at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.  The burrowing owls are my latest obsession and I am getting frustrated.  They are very, very difficult to find and notoriously shy not letting you get anywhere near close before heading into their holes.  This will be my mission this weekend.  😉  

“Can I help you?” A burrowing owl seems annoyed with a prairie dog. © Tony’s Takes