Juvenile Burrowing Owl Balancing Act

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Juvenile Burrowing Owl balancing on wireJuvenile Burrowing Owl balancing on wire – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4 TC, natural light, not baited

I’ve been thinking about Burrowing Owls a lot lately and wondering when I will see my first of the year juvenile sticking its head out of it burrow and looking around its world. The adult owls are great to photograph but the young owls are far more entertaining as they learn how to use their wings, their vision, their talons and how to hunt prey.

Young Burrowing Owl flapping its wings on a wireYoung Burrowing Owl flapping its wings on a wire – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4 TC, natural light, not baited

I photographed this juvenile Burrowing Owl balancing act last year in northern Utah not long after the sun came up and I have a series of images where it started to lose its balance, tried to regain its balance and then succeeded. In most of the images the owl looked very intent on what it was doing, in all of the images the owl was completely adorable.

Life is good.



  1. Nicole Haller-Wilson May 12, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Gorgeous photograph! I agree about the barbed wire… Such nasty stuff… Thank you such amazing photos!!

  2. Elephant's Child May 12, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Love the owls. And I am with Patty. Hate the wire. It puts my heart in my mouth every time I see a bird or an animal nearby.

  3. Utahbooklover May 12, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Great captures with your camera, Mia. I agree with Patty, the devil-wire is a danger!

  4. Don Ellison May 12, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Love all owls…. wonderful shots. You’re timing is great. Don from ON, Canada.

  5. Patty Chadwick May 12, 2016 at 8:27 am

    I don’t like this image…at all!!! I’m so afraid that bird’s high wire balancing will include wing flaps and might end up tragically…I can’t forget that terrible, terrible image of the dead Burrowing owl, stagrved to death, hanging from one wing snagged on that goddamned devil’s wire….I hate thatvstuff so much!!!!!

  6. Larry Jordan May 12, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Adorable indeed! Love them!

  7. Bob McPherson May 12, 2016 at 6:30 am

    Absolutely gorgeous images Mia. These little owls are a favorite.

  8. steven kessel May 12, 2016 at 6:08 am

    Hi, Mia:

    We’ve been waiting for the juveniles to show up down here in Arizona as well. I know of at least three active nests and I’m going to check them out this weekend.

    Best regards, Steve

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