Adult Burrowing Owl at sunrise

Adult Burrowing Owl at sunriseAdult Burrowing Owl at sunrise – Nikon D7100, f6.3, 1/500, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Burrowing Owls have become harder to find on Antelope Island State Park than they have been in the past so I was happy to spot this one three days ago. I wasn’t so happy to see that it was banded but it has also gotten more difficult to find Burrowing Owls on the island that aren’t. The banding program is to find out more information about Burrowing Owls because their populations are declining throughout the western United States.

I love the golden light and how the owl was turned towards the rising sun.


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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. Humming Bird Lover

    I like you love your little Burrowing Owls! Great photo! Keep up the great pictures!

  2. Getting up early does have its rewards — wonderful light and composition!

  3. Warm and wonderful!

    I hope you don’t mind me asking a little more about your ISO methodology but since I notice that this shot was at 500 (as versus the 160 you used on the carpet of gold) I was wondering if you use auto or do you generally set ISO manually?

    • Hi there! I don’t mind answering your question at all.

      I set my ISO manually and typically for birds I user higher ISOs because I need fast shutter speeds with them. For this Burrowing Owl I was hoping to get a lift off but took a few stationary images at ISO 500 and was about to bump the ISO up for more shutter speed when the owl took flight. For landscapes, images of wildflowers and other stationary subjects I purposely lower my ISO to capture more detail. I know they aren’t going to fly away so I can have a lower shutter speed.

  4. So love the pose and the light in this. They are just cute little critters to be sure and I’d not have even seen the band if you hadn’t mentioned it.

  5. Great picture, beautiful light!

  6. One of my favorite birds! They usually make me smile but now that you seldom see one that’s not bsnded ( or seldom see one at all!), their images are tinged with sadness.

  7. Beautiful image of the Burrowing Owl.

  8. Lovely Mia!

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