Mated Pair of Burrowing Owls on a Grassy Hill

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Burrowing Owls on a grassy hillBurrowing Owls on a grassy hill – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

I’ve been watching a badger burrow that showed up on a hill last year when I am out looking for birds in northern Utah hoping to see a badger in top of the hill. Every time I have looked at it since last year I have been disappointed because there has never been a badger there and I am fond of badgers.

Last week I did spot something at that badger burrow on the grassy hill that I have been watching for so long and it was a mated pair of Burrowing Owls! I should have been expecting to see Burrowing Owls there because they quite often will select an old badger burrow or den as their nesting site, especially since we don’t have prairie dogs in that area.

I was also excited to capture SO much green in my images, this wet spring has really helped the spring grasses grow.

This burrow is quite a distance from the road but later on in the breeding season I expect I will be able to see and photograph a big brood of juvenile Burrowing Owls at the entrance of the burrow and it will be fun to watch them grow up, test their wings and take flight.

Even though I have been disappointed to not see a badger on this hill I am delighted that the Burrowing Owls are now calling it home. Thanks to a badger.

Life is good.


PS: The female Burrowing Owl is on the left and the male is on the right.


  1. Elephants Child April 19, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Woo hoo. And happy dances.

  2. Utahbooklover April 19, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    I like badgers too and love this image of the couple. I was surprised to learn that the male was larger than female, just the opposite of most birds of prey. I did a Google search and found some sites that said they were the same size, but most said the male was larger, as Mia wrote.

  3. Gordon April 19, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Great shots again, I just love the Burrowing Owls, it will be great when the young appear.
    All the best, Gordon.

  4. Patty Chadwick April 19, 2017 at 10:07 am

    A very cute couple!

  5. Kim April 19, 2017 at 7:16 am

    This is sooo beautiful!

    • Bob mcpherson April 19, 2017 at 8:14 am

      Beautiful image Mia.

  6. Liz Cormack April 19, 2017 at 6:51 am

    Is it my imagination or is the male Burrowing Owl much, much bigger than the female? Great photos as always.

    • Utahbooklover April 19, 2017 at 1:19 pm

      As Mia pointed out in her P.S., the female is on the left and the male on the right.
      This is an exception since in most birds of prey the female is larger than the male.

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