Looking For Burrowing And Short-eared Owls

An adult Burrowing Owl on a May morningAn adult Burrowing Owl on a May morning – Nikon D300, f8, 1/800, ISO 250, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

I’m getting ansty for spring migration and for the birds that it will bring including Burrowing and Short-eared Owls which I always look forward to photographing here in northern Utah. Some of the Burrowing and Short-eared Owls do stick around for the winter here but this winter I have not seen them myself so I can’t wait to see them again.

I haven’t been out to photograph in a few days because of the weather and I am starting to feel like climbing my living room walls, I want to check out my favorite spots for seeing both of these owl species.

I can nearly always count on finding Burrowing Owls on Antelope Island State Park  during their breeding season but I haven’t photographed them there much the past few years because I feel like they already have enough pressure because they are so well known on the island and I don’t want to “Love them to death” so I try to find these small owls elsewhere. Some times I get lucky, some times I don’t.

Fluffed up adult male Short-eared Owl in northern UtahFluffed up adult male Short-eared Owl in northern Utah – Nikon D810, f8, 1/1000, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

With the nomadic Short-eared Owls you never know where you might find them, one year they might be completely absent and the next they are everywhere you look in the habitats they prefer. Two years ago it was great for Short-eared Owls, I just don’t know if this year will be boom or bust for this enigmatic species of owl.

I do know that I hope to find both Burrowing and Short-eared Owls this breeding season because they are beautiful birds and such fun to observe and photograph. Much to my delight each year I learn more & more about these owls and that suits me just fine.

Life is good.



  1. Pepe Forte March 17, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    Gorgeous shots Mia. Thanks.

  2. Elephants Child March 16, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Even on the screen owls make my heart sing. In person? I would probably be too busy ogling to lift the camera to my face. I am so very grateful you are made of stronger stuff.

  3. April Olson March 16, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    I’ve been watching but have not seen many yet. I enjoy watching their antics, I get so buy I forget to take photos.

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