Anyone who follows my blog knows I adore Burrowing Owls, I am totally fascinated by these small “Clowns of the Desert” and could spend hours & hours watching and photographing them.
Last week while taking a quick look at a burrow I have been watching I noticed several chicks above the ground and one adult that was perched high up on a dried out sunflower stalk way off in the distance. I took a few quick shots of the adult and I am glad I did because with my naked eye I couldn’t see that someone has banded the adult and it appears that a telemetry device has also been attached to the adult. You might wonder why.
Western Burrowing Owls populations are declining, human population explosion and subsequent urban development plus habitat degradation has reduced Burrowing Owl populations by 60% and that number is still rising. Burrowing Owls are a Species of Concern in Utah and we should be concerned if we want to stop their population decline.
The reason for the bands on the Burrowing Owls on Antelope Island is research on their populations and the telemetry device will be used to track their migration.
As a bird photographer I’m not exactly thrilled about the “bling” the owls are wearing but as a person concerned about their conservation and their future I do understand why the research is needed.
For facts on Western Burrowing Owls take a look at these sites:
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More Burrowing Owl images