Male Burrowing Owl on mullein
I watched from my car window as this male Burrowing Owl was hunting for his babies. Four of them were left out of a brood of six; predators are a constant worry because they are always looking for a tasty young snack.
It is amazing to me to watch parent birds care for their young. They are so incredibly dedicated, constantly looking for mice or toads or crickets, then flying back with them to hand them over to one of the babies. Then, in addition, they warn the babies to quickly take cover back in the burrow if danger is seen.
Burrowing owls are born underground in burrows, often times these are burrows built by prairie dogs. They hunt crickets, grasshoppers, and other bugs, as well as small mammals such as mice, and small reptiles. Their numbers have declined sharply with human alteration of their habitat and the decline of prairie dogs and ground squirrels.
This photograph was taken on July 26, 2017, near Greeley, Colorado
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