Juvenile Burrowing Owl in Utah

Juvenile Burrowing OwlJuvenile Burrowing Owl – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 200, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Burrowing Owls are iconic birds of Antelope Island State Park, I can’t tell you how many times people write to me and ask “Where can I see Burrowing Owls on Antelope Island State Park?”.  They are adorable little owls and because they are diurnal people can see them during daylight hours and marvel at how funny they can be, especially the juveniles.

Burrowing Owl chickBurrowing Owl chick – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 200, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

These Burrowing Owl images were taken the summer of 2009 when a pair of adults nested in a burrow along the causeway to the island and reared four chicks. I spent many mornings photographing these beautiful little desert owls there.

Who could resist these Burrowing Owl chicks? Not me.


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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 to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. Wow, I didn’t see this post til just now. I just posted a Burrowing Owl photo this morning. Must be mental telepathy! Love the lighting in your photos.

  2. I was so surprised when I saw how small they are in real life. Interesting to see the pupils are dilated differently. And they are cute.

  3. To quote those intergalactic bird watching folks when asked about photographing Burrowing Owls: “Resistance is futile”!

    Great shots, Mia!

    It’s been gratifying to find more nesting pairs in central Florida through the current Bird Atlas project than projections suggested.

  4. And I am so glad (so very glad) that you don’t resist them. An enchanting bird – thank you.

  5. Love these little guys and these images. My Kaufman field guide says they hunt mostly at night but can be seen during the day in summer. Probably won’t see any on our trip to Antelope Island State Park and Causeway today.

    • Utahbooklover, I did see one Burrowing Owl on the island this morning but it was too far away to photograph.

      • Thanks for that information Mia; I want to explore more on my Vespa when I have more time — much higher visibility and better gas mileage too. Jessica and I had a wonderful Friday afternoon at the Antelope Island State Park, largest of the 10 islands in the Great Salt Lake. Beautiful views from high and low, but most exciting was the wildlife: a small herd of mule deer, a few bison, a hawk and falcon; but our favorite was the coyote who crossed the road ahead and looked back a few times to check on us. Paul

  6. GREAT SHOTS of one of my favorite birds!

  7. Beautiful owls! Looks just like our cuties here in Florida. In Cape Coral they nest in yards. There is a driving tour map for owls given out that includes places like the town library.

  8. Brilliant pieces of photography Mia.

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