Ann and I got back from Roswell, New Mexico late yesterday, Thursday, afternoon. It was a fun three days. Our purpose was to bird and photograph Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge. I will have more on that in a day or two, but I wanted to share with you one of the highlights, and it took place in downtown Roswell, NM.
We had visited Bitter Lake NWR on Tuesday, but on Wednesday morning, Michael Richardson, one of the owners of the Enchanted Farm Bed & Breakfast, where we were staying, took us on a little tour around the area. Driving through one area of the city, we passed a little prairie dog village. There were many Black-tailed Prairie Dogs scurrying around, but what caught my attention were several Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia), standing on some of the mounds, enjoying the early morning sun. I had never seen one of these owls up close nor had any photographs, so I was excited to have this photo op.
I made an illegal U-turn and parked across the street. I got my Canon EOS 7D with the 500mm lens and 1.4 tele-converter out of the car, and crossed back over to the fence that was bordering the area. I proceeded to get several images of one of them, by propping my camera on a fence post.
Later on, as Michael was taking us towards another park, we spotted this owl on an overhead wire. Wow! Talk about getting some great shots, here was this one just posing for me.
These little owls are only about 9 inches tall, and they are real cuties. Click on any of the images to see an enlargement. I am making this post short, as I have many things to do to get caught up. I will do a post about Bitter Lake NWR in a few days and have more info for you about that place.
Wonderful blog and terrific photographs. You should publish a book with your bird photos and experiences. Have a great weekend. Barbara.
Thank you so much, Barbara. As a matter of fact, I do have a book coming out in about three weeks. A photo book, “Birds, Beasts, and Buttes”. I will keep you informed in my blog with details later.
Oh, yes, please do.
Wow on the owls! How great to have that opportunity to see them in the morning.
Thank you, Karen. It was quite a thrill, as I had never seen one close-up and identifiable before.
Thanks so much, Shelly. 🙂
I love Burrowing Owls and Prairie Dogs too. Some wonderful images of the Burrowing Owls! Happy that you survived the Roswell heat. . .
Thanks so much, Linda. The heat was tolerable, not any worse than what Ann and I go through here.
So cute – great photos, and well worth the U-turn!
Thanks, Jo, I appreciate your comment. Yes, it was well worth it. 🙂
Sure it wasn’t an alien, Bob? 🙂 Wonderful photos, as usual! Cheers, Denise
Cute, Denise, cute. 🙂 🙂
Great images Bob, I have never seen one of these either except in field guides. Thanks for sharing and congrats on adding another species to your list!
Thanks, David. It sure gets exciting!
Thanks so much, Rob. 🙂
nice lookin’ bird!
Thanks, Derrick. I just checked your blog briefly, and I see you are a great fan of the Big Bend area. I will take a longer look later and comment. It looks exciting. 🙂
What fantastic photos of a beautiful creature. I wish we had them here!
Thanks, Julia. They are little cuties. 🙂
Big congrats on your first Burrowing Owl images Bob. Photographing them is addicting because they exhibit so much character. The young ones are even more delightful. I can’t get enough time with them myself.
I am looking forward to your upcoming images from Bitter Lake NWR
Thanks, Mia, I appreciate your comments. I agree, it is so much fun to photograph them. There were some young ones there, but way to far away for me to reach them and make any quality images.
Excellent photos as always, it’s good to hear that you had an enjoyable and productive trip. Looking forward to seeing more photos from it.
Thanks, Jerry. I will publish another post this weekend with more pics from that area. 🙂
Great photo of this little one,Bob, I am happy for you. When I first saw them in real life I was surprised by their size.I had no camera with me but did have binoculars.
Thank you very much, Jane. I agree, it is so hard to believe that they are so small. 🙂
I have never seen a photo of those owls off the ground like that last photo! Thanks for posting.
Thanks, Merrill. I really appreciate your comments. I have seen very few of them anywhere. 🙂
Big congrats Bob! I can imagine how much you’ve wanted some quality photos like these of the species. I’ve spent a lot of time with Burrowing Owls and I’ve never seen one perched anywhere near as high as your bird on the wire must have been – very unusual in my experience.
Thanks so much, Ron. I, too, thought that it was unusual to see it on the wire. There was another one nearby, also on the wire, and I suspect they were a ‘couple’.
Thanks. We have lots of prairie dogs around our residential area, which I enjoy. It never occurred to me to look for burrowing owls. I’ll look for them now, ’cause you just never know!
Thanks, kdkh. We have several colonies of prairie dogs here, and an owl can seen once in awhile, but I had never been that fortunate before.
priceless photos..haven’t seen a Burrowing Owl in a good number of years. Glad you are home safe and had a good trip. ps u-turns are good?? haha
Thanks, Syl, for the comment. I have been know to drive in precarious places to get a photo. 🙂
Oh lucky you! I am so envious. I missed seeing a Burrowing Owl when I was in northern NM in February. I love New Mexico, so I’ll add this to my list of places to visit. Beautiful shots. Thanks for posting!
Thank you so much, Lisa. I love those Burrowing Owls, they are so cute. We love NM, too, having lived previously in Las Crusces for four years.
That’s great Bob, you sound happy, you must have a good bunch of great shots up the sleeve! 🙂
Yes, we had a super time, H.J.. Thanks. 🙂
Love the owls, Bob. Great shots. Made the risky driving worth while.
Thanks, Jim. I appreciate your comment. Nobody important saw me make that U-turn. 🙂
Those are little cuties! Know you had a great time and look forward to more photos.
Thanks, Beth. I appreciate it. 🙂
Great story and great pics, Bob. And I especially loved the U-turn confession.
I am liable to drive any way, or any where to get a pic. Thanks for the comment, Bruce.
Fantastic photos. How fortunate for you (and your readers) that you were in the right place at the right time.
I pays to be persistant and always have a camera at your side. Thanks for the compliment, Katherine.