My Week Four visit to my Burrowing Owl nest was short and sweet. I got there around 8:30 in the morning, and the owls were sleepy and not very active. They were adorable as they posed at their burrow, but they didn’t do much. Their actions made me suspect that they were already flight-worthy, though…
Sadly I found that we were down to four owlets at the burrow. There were originally five. I don’t know what happened the the fifth baby. There are plenty of predators around the nest: raptors, coyotes, and feral cats. That’s one of the sad parts of nest-watching: sometimes you just never know what happened to “your” babies!
The remaining four babies remained attentive to the skies as they monitored every bird that flew overhead. They would frequently stretch their wings, which is what made me think they’d already started flying. Either they would do a owl-ballerina pose and stretch their wing and a foot behind them, or they would bend over into takeoff position and stretch their wings over their heads.
Burrowing Owls are a protected species in Florida, and they are protected across the country by migration logs. Their biggest problem is that their habitat is disappearing. The land is being developed and that just doesn’t leave a lot of good places for burrows! So I felt especially fortunate to get to watch these guys grow up.
My next post will be my last on the Burrowing Owls – they finally started showing off their flight skills!
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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