Some Owls

Tonight I have a little bit of blog block, but happened upon a picture that made me think of owls.

Western Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea), Owls, Big EyesOne night about then years ago I was out taking a walk and all of a sudden caught something out of the corner of my eye. I stopped, turned on my camera, and was able to get this great picture.

The owl was a Western Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea). The owl was standing on a fence just a few feet from the sidewalk I was walking down. I was so lucky that the owl did not fly off immediately. It just stood there and looked at me while I took several pictures. Behind the owl was a recently mowed field of hay. I am sure that the mowing displaced several families of mice and that was why the owl was hunting there.

Western Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea), Bird Habitat, Hay FieldBurrowing owls live in underground burrows. Sometimes they make their own, but often live in man made structures such as drains or even nesting boxes. Burrowing owls help keep areas clear of rodents and some people encourage them to nest in certain areas. I also found out that April is nesting season, so maybe this owl was keeping an eye out for the safety of the nest.

In any case, the owl soon flew down to the hay field and was swooping down on a mouse.

Barn Owl, Tyto Alba, Owl in Tree, Hidden OwlThis picture is also from about ten years ago. I heard the owl hooting while taking a walk and I began to search for it.

This is a Barn Owl (Tito alba pratincola). I took picture after picture trying to find just the right angle to get a clear shot of the owl. It just would not cooperate with me :-). However, I do like this shot. You cannot see the face, but you can imagine those piercing eyes that it has. It is actually neat that they are covered. The unclear shot reminds me of how well an owl can hide itself from predators.

Barn Owl, Owl in Flight, Rodent control, Owl at OrchardHere is another Barn Owl. It flew out of a owl box while I was walking through an orchard and luckily I had my camera ready to snap a picture.

Arad Well, Tel Arad, Barn Owls, Tyto Alba, Owls in WellHere is another interesting owl picture. These owls are huddled at the bottom of a deep well at Tel Arad in Israel.

When I was young I used to collect owl figurines. I liked that they were symbols of wisdom and knowledge. I still have several of them setting on a shelf in my home office. They are keeping an eye on me while I write this.

Steven

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