Burrowing Owl juveniles

Three Burrowing Owl juveniles Three Burrowing Owl juvenilesNikon D200, f8, 1/200, ISO 320, 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited.

If you have never had the opportunity to photograph Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) juveniles I would suggest you find a burrow and be prepared to laugh yourself silly. The adult Burrowing Owls are gorgeous but they seem slightly less animated than the juveniles.

The three juveniles above were having a group preening session.

Juvenile Burrowing Owl parallaxingJuvenile Burrowing Owl parallaxing – Nikon D200, f5.6, 1/1000, ISO 250, 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited.

Juvenile Burrowing Owls appear to parallax more than the adults, twisting, turning and bobbing their heads.  There are times that the juvies look so funny it is difficult to hold the camera and lens still because of laughing.

Juvenile Burrowing Owl parallaxingJuvenile Burrowing Owl parallaxing – D200, f7.1, 1/750, ISO 250, 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited.

They can almost turn their heads upside down.

Yawning juvenile Burrowing OwlYawning juvenile Burrowing Owl – D200, f6.3, 1/500, ISO 200, 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited.

They yawn.

Winking Burrowing Owl juvieWinking Burrowing Owl juvie – D200, f7.1, 1/500, ISO 200, 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

And they wink.

Funny FaceFunny Face – D200, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 200, 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

They can make the funniest faces.

A ferocious looking juvenile Burrowing OwlA ferocious looking juvenile Burrowing Owl – D200, f7.1, 1/350, ISO 250, 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

At times they can even look ferocious!

Grooming juvenile Burrowing OwlGrooming juvenile Burrowing Owl – D200, f7.1, 1/750, ISO 250, 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Look for interesting poses when the juveniles groom.

If you need a laugh watching these juveniles for a period of time will provide it, I can almost guarantee that. I’ll write more on this species another time.

Mia

As for owls and other nesting birds or young chicks please:

  • don’t harass, molest, get too close or disturb them
  • being too close can often prevent the adults from feeding the chicks
  • be aware that your presence could attract predators
  • respect local, state and federal laws concerning wildlife
Mia
Save the Owls Project
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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and photographing birds. My approach is to photograph the birds without disturbing their natural behavior. I don't bait, use set ups or call them in. I use Nikon gear and has multiple camera bodies and lenses.

5 Comments

  1. Pingback: Adult Burrowing Owls | on the wing photography

  2. Great photo’s! The Burrowing Owl is indeed a funny bird to photograph. I have them on my front lawn (Florida) and they are better to watch than TV. What a Hoot! (no pun intended)

  3. Were these all taken on Antelope Island? I keep trying to figure out where to see them out there. No luck so far.

    • Clara,

      Yes all of these were taken on Antelope Island, there had been a burrow on the south side of the causeway in 2009 but one of the adults was struck and killed by a car and they didn’t nest there in 2010. There are some on the island itself down from the visitor’s center heading towards the Buffalo Grill at times. Not many there in winter though.

  4. That’s quite the collection of amusing poses. I can never pass up these interesting owls when I can find them here in AZ.

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