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 this adult Burrowing Owl was turned towards the rising sun.



  1. Humming Bird Lover July 16, 2014 at 2:02 pm

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

  2. Utahbooklover July 16, 2014 at 1:37 pm

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

  3. M. Bruce July 16, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    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?

    • Mia McPherson July 17, 2014 at 5:43 am

      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. Sherry in MT July 16, 2014 at 10:49 am

    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. Jolanta July 16, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Great picture, beautiful light!

  6. Patty Chadwick July 16, 2014 at 10:40 am

    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.

    • Elephant's Child July 16, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Thank you Patty. And snap. I love to see them – but hate that their numbers are declining and that banding has become one of the potential solutions.

  7. Bev Danis July 16, 2014 at 6:15 am

    Just fabulous!

  8. Bob Bushell July 16, 2014 at 5:57 am

    Beautiful image of the Burrowing Owl.

  9. Nancy July 16, 2014 at 5:31 am

    Lovely Mia!

Comments are closed.