Leopards don’t change their spots but juvenile Burrowing Owls do change their spots on their chests as they mature. When the young Burrowing Owls first come out of the burrow their chests are a creamy buff color without markings.
As the juveniles grow older darker colored bars start to appear in their belly close to the wings. It doesn’t seem to take long for the changes to happen.
The darker bars are soon joined by spots of lighter colored feathers and the changes in the plumage seem to start at the sides and move towards the center of their chests.
The first and third images in this post are owls I am photographing this year at the same burrow and the images were taken 21 days apart. They might even be the same owl.
Before long the flanks are all spotted and there is only a buffy colored stripe in the center of their chests.
In a few weeks time the chests of young burrowing owls can go from unmarked to spotted all the way across the chest and down the belly.
These images are from different years and two separate burrow locations and I used them because the juvenile Burrowing Owls I am photographing this year haven’t matured enough to show all their spots.
Life is good.
I don’t know if the Burrowing Owls in Florida show the same plumage changes as they mature.