Still in search of burrowing owls

I have a new obsession. It is now my life’s mission to find and photograph a colony of burrowing owls.

I took a trip up to Riverton earlier this month in order to take some prints up to Wind River Gallery and to see if I could get some pictures of wild horses. I accomplished both goals, but while I was up there, my dad mentioned that he thought he might know where some burrowing owls could be found.

I thought, “hey, that would be cool.” I’ve given some thought on several occasions to trying to find some burrowing owls to take pictures of, and it seemed the opportunity might just fall in my lap.

Dad and I went out to where he thought the owls might be, but we couldn’t find any. I mentioned our failed foray on my radio show a week or so ago, and I immediately got a call from a friend who said he knew where I could find some. And just like that, an obsession was born.

I couldn’t get that phone call out of my head. I thought about it all that day, and I tossed and turned all night thinking about burrowing owls. So the next morning, the moment I got out of bed, I jumped in the truck and headed toward Hawk Springs to find those owls. I went to where my friend said they should be, but I didn’t find any. In fact, I didn’t even find any prairie dog towns, and those owls tend to make their homes in abandoned prairie dog burrows.

I happened to run across a rancher who works the land out that way, though, and he said the prairie dogs have all been run out of the area, and the landowners have back-filled all the holes. So much for my sure-fire site for burrowing owl photos.

I won’t rest until I find some, though. I’ve got more feelers out, and as long as there are any owls in southeastern Wyoming, I’ll get my lens on some soon. Either that or I’ll die trying.