A few months ago, as I was driving down my driveway on the way home one night, I nearly hit a bird that was sitting on the edge of the road. As I passed by, I got a closer look. It was about the height of a dove, but much rounder, and its head was just a dome almost as wide as its body. I realized as I passed by that it was a burrowing owl.
I immediately stopped and tried to find it again, because I’ve been on a mission to find burrowing owls for years. I drove all over Wyoming a few years ago looking for them, but for one reason or another, they never appeared where I’d gotten tips that they should be. Then one day later that summer, I happened across a pair of them nesting on my neighbor’s place.
Unfortunately, though, those owls disappeared before I could go out and get good photos of them. Burrowing owls are easy prey for badgers, foxes, and especially feral cats. And there are lots of feral cats out around where I live.
But now there are at least two of them somewhere on or around my land. I’ve tried to figure out where they are nesting, but the grass is much too tall to see the owls through. And I don’t want to spook them away from their holes, so tramping around through the grass isn’t going to work.
I’m almost out of time to find where they’re living – they’ll be migrating to warmer climes soon. I’m hoping I can figure out where they’re nesting so I can see if they come back in the spring. And if that’s the case, I can put a blind out there next year and maybe get some good pictures of them – without having to drive all over the state.
Right now, though, I’m just thrilled to see them each night on my way home.