One of my favorite things to photograph in Florida are the burrowing owls. Quite tiny, but quite social in their behavior they can entertain the viewer for hours! Usually I stick close to home, but in 2017, I ventured out to a few new locations to photograph these cuties. So join me as I share another set of images. 🙂
When I first arrived to this particular location, the sun was already up for a bit and the owls were quite active. On these few days, I was treated to both the yellow and dark eyed babies. Though yellow eyes are the most traditional, both are photogenic to me.
At these burrows, there were some still in the burrows, not quite ready for “prime time”, but there were plenty of babies to keep me happy as well. You can tell the babies by their feathers on their belly … so downy looking and creamy, they remind me of a nice drink of Kahlua! LOL. They are also very downy towards their legs, which remind me of petticoats or bloomers.They might be a bit more jumpier too and seemingly always on alert. They scurry from burrow entrances, of which there can commonly be 2 or 3 … though sometimes simply one.They seem to be quite intrigued by each other and often seem to challenge each other … in a playful way, of course.Curiosity is never more evident than when they are quite young. Always poking around at things they, like our own young, seem to get into everything! I feel sometimes like I can sense their mind wheels turning as they process this world outside of the burrow, where they usually spend their first few weeks.Quite demanding for the attention of their mom and dad, I know that they’re looked upon as “annoying” from time to time. Running over to an adult is common. Squeaking and pecking at the adult is I’m sure their way of trying to communicate their needs…. Food … Comfort … Attention!Early on the parents will catch food for the young owls and assist in feeding them. After some time, they still hunt for them, but they encourage independence by allowing the siblings to tear up and consume their food on their own.Nothing gets by these little buggers wither! They kept constant vigil to everything going on around them. Of course, that will serve them well as they grow up and ready for their life on their ownBut until then, they seek more attention, food, grooming, play, etc. from their parents.Then there’s more staring down something … a sibling, an ant, a bee, an airplane, a piece of trash … doesn’t matter, they’re all of interest to this little owl.Of all of the entertaining things that these little ones do, NOTHING is more entertaining that the “head tilt” maneuver that they perform. Sometimes it’s just a little one … sometimes it’s the full tilt …sometimes the body bends with it as well. LOL. Life at the burrow can be a bit boring I presume …. 😉Testing of the wings is another fun time while observing them. Of course, it’s all about baby steps, but they all learn to take flight at their own pace … and in their own way. Looks like this guy is ready to go … just like me. Hope that you enjoyed the burrowing owls of Florida. While we do have them out in Colorado, they’re not full time residents and therefore, they’re a bit more shy and secretive. Hope to find them out there one day.
Next Up: Let’s meet up high in the mountains
© 2017 Debbie Tubridy / TNWA Photography