Today’s post is a sunbathing Burrowing Owl because sometimes only “small and cute but feisty” will do!
Tiny Burrowing Owls – just 20 cm in length – are a New World species closely related to our Little Owls. They live in desert or dry grassland areas and feed on a variety of prey, such as small rodents, lizards and insects, which they catch in flight or by chasing it down. As their name suggests they are burrow dwellers, but whilst they can excavate their own tunnels they prefer to use those made by other creatures.
I photographed this one at the International Centre for Birds of Prey. Whilst the other family members in the aviary stayed in the shaded areas this one sat in bright sunlight and panted to cool down. Although burrowing owls are suited to a nocturnal life, they are frequently active during the day too.
You can see the similarity to the Little Owl from my recent painting.