In this case, an overwintering burrowing owl.
I heart burrowing owls. The idea of a little owl that lives in burrows always makes me smile.
But as this camera caught, the same burrows attract other visitors and drive-bys, including at times when the owl is home.
Creating the ole "friend or foe?" decision for Mr. Owl.
Here's a series in which a coyote shows up, flushing the owl (from the far burrow), who then returns 7 minutes after the coyote leaves.
But note the owl's behavior a few days later, when a black-tailed deer wanders near.
Wise little owl.
Such interactions also apply to visiting camera trappers.
For the record, I did better than the coyote. The owl only flushed when I was standing by the burrow looking down at it (with a big grin on my face). But I approached out of camera view on the right, so the cam trap unfortunately didn't catch it.
And finally, of course, sometimes inter-species interactions don't go as well for one party.
Mmmmmmm... Jerusalem cricket. I bet they don't taste like chicken.
- Nature of a Man (this blog) - Roaming the Badger Belt
- Nature of a Man (this blog) - Owls in the Fox House
- Nature of a Man (this blog) - Burrows are like Christmas
- Burrowing Owl Conservation Network - Burrowing Owl Facts
- Cornell Lab of Ornithology - All About Birds - Burrowing Owl
- Wikipedia - Burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia)