It’s time for round two on Burrowing Owls from Brian Piccolo Park!
My last adventure was an evening shoot at a great nest with six babies. I went back to the same burrow the next morning. The owlets were nowhere near as active. I set up my Beast on my tripod and lowered it as much as possible to get some portraits. Getting low threw the entire area of grass and trees out of focus and gave me a pretty green background.
The owlets were doing a lot of wing stretches. They seemed to all be flying, at least small hops to the posts of their roped-off nest area. The guy above reminds me of a ballerina pointing his toe as he stretches his wing.
OK, I have to share what goes through my head when I see the image above. You know the movie Legally Blonde? The scene where Elle does the bend and snap? Well, the owls are doing the “bend and stretch!” I was pleased to be low to the ground to get a birds-eye view of this silly-looking movement.
I guess the owlet above finished all his wing-ercising. He flew to the top of the post right next to me and peered down on me. It would have been really funny if he’d come over to inspect my camera.
I laughed so hard when I saw the above image! I guess I had too much lens, and I majorly clipped the owlet’s wings as he started to take off in flight. But I kinda like the result. He either looks like he’s leading an orchestra or doing yoga. Those closed eyes are amazingly expressive.
Yep, another case of too much lens. (Usually a nice problem to have!) Mom came over to feed a baby and I clipped their feet. You don’t think they’ll miss those much, do you? :)
After this unfortunate clipping, I switched lenses and got ready for more action…and the babies settled down to sleep! It was a windy morning, so maybe that’s why they weren’t more active. Rainclouds were moving in. I guess they knew it was going to be a “hunker down in the burrow” kind of day. So I was all ready with a shorter lens, and got no action! Except…
One of the babies went down into the burrow. Suddenly all sorts of sand came flying out of the hole. I guess it’s a somewhat common occurrence as the other babies didn’t seem to mind. They just stood there and got sand thrown all over them. Eventually they closed their eyes.
Next year I want to try to get smaller babies just as they come out of the burrow. Maybe next year will be my year to head to Cape Coral, where there are tons of Burrowing Owl nests. Or maybe I’ll go see Debbie and laugh more at the Burrowing Owls from Brian Piccolo Park!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Brian Piccolo Park?
Check out my Brian Piccolo Park page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!