Who Doesn’t Love Babies

By Dan Weisz

I was able to get some photos that showed more of the Burrowing Owl behavior.  This email will contain no science, just behaviors and storytelling of what I saw one afternoon just before sunset:  

Here Pops arrived with a grasshopper for the little ones.  As you can see, there is no order or taking turns for food.  It’s really first-come, first served!  Imagine what that adult Owl is thinking facing this mad rush of hungry youngsters!  He’s holding only one grasshopper and there are four very hungry youngsters racing towards him.

And the winner runs off with its prize, making a mad dash to freedom and privacy and leaving its siblings behind in the dust.  Meanwhile, Dad watches quietly, thinking his job was done for now!  He almost looks serenely satisfied with himself

Then one of the remaining youngsters seems to let Dad know that he needs to get back to work.  And among the other young owls who did not get anything to eat, one stares off, wondering what just happened and where that snack went.

And then this little Burrowing Owl decides to run after its sibling, hoping thereto find something to eat.  Look at those long legs and note the muddy feet.

Finally, the owlet stops and just complains.

The young Burrowing Owls spend a lot of time waiting for food and learning about their bodies.  Here, one does an overhead wing stretch.

The owlets often seem to practice hunting.  This owlet is staring at something on the ground.  It reminds me of my 11 month old grandson who is visiting now.

And it attacks a little clod of mud.  Yup, just like my grandson!

Nope, nothing tasty here.

And again, some wing stretches.  As it stretches its right wing, it simultaneously stretches its right leg.

And then it stretches its left leg.  In this shot, I like how one of the talons on its extended foot pokes out through the wing feathers.

More of the family to come!

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