I’ve shown photos of juvenile Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) before on this blog and this morning I felt it was time to put the beauty of the adult Burrowing Owls in the limelight. I created the photo above in the golden light of dawn, the adult was perched and watching it’s brood of four chicks. I loved the lacy vegetation seen in background in this image.
Comparison of juvenile and adult western Burrowing Owls – D200, f9, 1/350, ISO 320, 200-400mm VT with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited
Mature western Burrowing Owls are generally lighter than the Florida subspecies and the juvenile western burrowing owls. In the photo above the juvenile is on the left and the adult is on the right. The adult’s head and face are lighter than the juvenile and the juvenile owl at this age lacks the spotted chest plumage that the adults have. The “eyebrows” of the juvenile stand out more than with the adults. Both the young and mature birds have clear yellow eyes.
Adult western Burrowing Owl with funny expression – D200, f8, 1/500, ISO 200, 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited
Juvenile Burrowing Owls seem to spend far more time than the adults parallaxing, they also seem more active and more curious than the mature birds. If you watch the adults while they are preening you can catch them in funny poses too. The adult in the image sure struck a silly pose for me.
At any age I believe that Burrowing Owls are fascinating and a delight to photograph.