This post continues my story of the baby Burrowing Owls that I observed this spring. I hope you’re not getting tired of cute little owlets!
On my previous visits to the burrow, I was a little surprised not to see food being brought in for the owlets. Surely they were not feeding themselves yet, as they never left the vicinity of the burrow. Mom and Dad must have fed them before or after I was there. But on this particular morning, I got lots of feeding shots! The parents brought in several tasty morsels for the babies…
I wondered if some of the bugs were too big for the babies, but apparently they didn’t think so! This little guy cracked me up as he posed with the big fat grasshopper that his mom gave him.
I read on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website that these owls are pretty smart. They place animal dung around their burrows to attract dung beetles. Then they kill the beetles to feed their babies.
Apparently eating makes owlets sleepy. They gave me lots of yawns after breakfast!
These little guys are so animated. It’s hard to show in still images. At one point they were all clustered around the burrow, then a car appeared on the horizon. All five heads snapped to watch the car as it passed by. I wonder if the driver realized he was being watched!
Then an airplane flew overhead, and all heads snapped up to watch. Raptors are predators of the Burrowing Owls, so it makes sense that even the babies are very sensitive to what flies overhead. They see the shadow of a bird flying overhead and immediately go on alert.
There were plenty of butterflies out on this morning, and I kept hoping that one would land on an owlet’s head. It almost happened, but not quite! I guess that probably would have not been a good move for the butterfly. I have a feeling that these little guys have enough of a hunting instinct that they might surprise Mom and grab their own food if it landed on their heads!
The owlets have this great habit of sitting in very photogenic clusters. This pair made a little heart as they stood together. I think they were two of the younger birds, and they stuck together close. It was sweet to watch.
As the morning got late, it got hot, and the babies went into the burrow to cool off. And I headed home for a nice glass of cold water!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Lake County Backroads?
Check out my Lake County Backroads 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!
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