I adore Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia), especially the juveniles because they can be funny, serious looking, comical and at times they act like clowns. This is a fairly young juvenile because it is just beginning to get the barring pattern on the chest. The green background is sagebrush and the grayish color is from the mudflats of the Great Salt Lake.
The juvenile Burrowing Owls above are from the same burrow as the first image I posted but they are older as shown by more barring on the chest. Juvenile Burrowing Owls are great to observe and photograph, they seem to be very curious about the world and they take it all in with those large lemony yellow eyes. The young owl on the left side of the frame is parallaxing while it checks me out. I love how far these birds can turn their heads.
When there are numerous young in the same burrow there is a lot of interaction between the siblings including grooming each other. The two owls on the left had been grooming each other while the bird on the right just seemed to be paying close attention to what the other two were doing. This burrow had four chicks but I was never able to get all four in the same frame.
I have included this last image despite the lack of eye contact because it is such a fun pose. Juvenile Burrowing Owls do stretch and groom a lot, I guess that is all part of “Growing Up Owl”. I’m just glad I get to see and photograph Burrowing Owls.