Owled Again~

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Burrowing Owl populations in San Diego County have been sharply depleted by extensive development and are at risk for local extinction.
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In San Diego they are a protected species under the Multi-Species Protection Act, and are protected by state and federal wildlife agencies.
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The Living Coast Discovery Center in The San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge is breeding these remarkable little owls and visitors can get up close and personal with these very curious creatures which is an incredible experience.
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In the wild Burrowing Owls live mostly in squirrel and gopher burrows, often sharing space with their furry room mates.
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The most reliable place to view Borrowing Owls in the wild in Southern California is at The Sony Bono Nature Preserve at The Salton Sea.
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Artificial burrows have been set up here where you can watch the owls and their nests in the wild which is quite fascinating!
Cheers to you from the curious and way too cute Burrowing Owls~
For More Information on the depletion of Burrowing Owls in San Diego County see:

Click to access Burrowing%20Owl.pdf

279 thoughts on “Owled Again~

    • They used to be fairly wide spread in San Diego County, but no more. There are only a few isolated pockets of them. You are lucky to have them thriving near you. I would be out in that field! Wish I could be~ 🦉🦉

  1. Cindy I always enjoy out photos.. the owls.. they are so precious.. they look soft and cuddly, but…. I think… I’ll enjoy from a distance… thanks always for the great pictures and sharing you do

  2. That is fascinating that they also live live in the burrow with squirrels or gophers. I thought they are hunted by Owls. I see the one in the picture has straps on the legs. Is that one kept as pet?

    • Bigger owls hunt squirrels and gophers. These are small little guys, they could eat babies, but they eat mice, bugs, lizards, little things. The guy with the straps isn’t a pet, but he’s being raised and bred in The Living Coast Discovery Center which is a conservation center.

  3. Wonderful to see these photos. What a ‘owling shame these little creatures are losing their natural habitat. Silly pun, sorry, but I am very serious about the shame bit.

  4. I first heard of these in a Carl Hiassen book. Apparently they used to be all over Florida as well. You provided the first,photos I’ve seen of them. I think the book was called Hoot.

  5. Whooooo…, Whooo ‘s being owlish again ??? Sad that their habitat is being threatened by humans…, when something is threatened, it’s almost always by humans. Most people today have no concept of what their destructive behavior is costing life and the environment around them.
    Yeah !!! This is one of my favorite rants…,and I’m proud of it !!!!!!! 🙂

    • We can remember what natural spaces used to be like when we were young and what they are like now. I remember a bear count of 150 in Yellowstone when I was a kid including so many grizzly. Now seeing a grizzly is close to a religious experience. Rant on. You have my full support~

  6. The older I get, the more I like owls. They’re so interesting and beautiful. Thanks for the lovely photos, Cindy. It’s nice to know that the Burrowing Owls are protected. What wonderful creatures 🙂

    • They are industrious, resourceful, curious, truly marvelous. They are interesting and beautiful and I fully understand how wild creatures become more interesting as we get older. We have more time to contemplate them.

  7. These guys look healthy and well-cared for (they resembled high-end plushies to me)! Bright-eyes and beautiful markings. Nice to see that they’re doing a great job there in San Diego. And thank you as always, Cindy, for the information about their status!

  8. Such completely wonderful photos. 🙂 You might be interested in christophermartinphotography.com. He’s been doing some pretty fantastic pictures of owls lately – he lives in the Rocky Mountain foothills of Alberta.

    • I will check him out. Thanks for the tip. He lives in bird heaven in Alberta! Canada is an unfair advantage for photographers which is one of the reasons I love it so! <3

  9. I think all kinds of owls are magnificent creatures Cindy, but sharing your living space with another that you would expect them to eat is really something. We might learn something from that!

  10. Adorable. Such beautiful markings.
    I love owls, and we had a family of tawnies visit the garden in the evenings in the cottage. We hear a couple across the river, but so far haven’t seen any flying yet to work out what they are. Probably barn owls. There are of course a lot of owls on the boats here, we have one called Fred, but they are plastic and are supposed to deter birds from landing/nesting/pooing on the roof. Fred may be taking early retirement!

    • Yes. Owls are a joy to live with. We have Great Horned Owls on the roof each night and I join their duets. It is a strange sensation knowing they can see you perfectly in the dark when you can’t see them. Sometimes they silently swoop close to my head but they have never harmed me. I love them too~ 🦉🦉

  11. I wouldn’t mind being owled every day! 🙂
    There is one here that comes visiting my little jungle, mostly in winter – of course in the middle of the night, probably looking for some mice… his call tells me it is a wood owl/tawny owl but as it would probably be gone if I tried to open the window and try to see it in the dark, I just enjoy his eery call 🙂
    Lovely photos!

  12. Seeing a Burrowing Owl is on my life to-do list! I think they are the cutest things. Thanks for sharing your photos of these beauties and letting us know where we can see them in person, Cindy! ❤️

    • Unbelieveable! Eight chicks. You can see how utterly beguiling they are and then imagine basically wiping them out in San Diego. Thank you for sending this to me. I am sending it on. I am always over at Cornell’s lab page identifying birds, as I can tell, are you! <3 This made me smile! Thank you Debbie~

  13. Thank you for this post and the amazing pictures, as always. You are an amazing photographer that captures the very essence of the subjects you choose. Such a blessing you are in the world to record the life of such amazing beings.

  14. More owls?? Cindy, what a fabulous treat — thank you! These darling little burrowing owls are just as cute as can be. I think I’d like to have one! I’m sure they’re far too rare to be considered pets (and I can just imagine what Dallas would do with one), but oh, they’re precious!!

    • They are inquisitive and clever and interesting in us. They watch us if we are still. I don’t want to imagine our world without them. Thank you for appreciating the 🦉🦉 Debbie!

  15. This is such an amazing post. I love this owl, and that it shares living space.
    I am so saddened every time I hear an animal is endangered. How hypocritical & sickenly ironic that man protects that which he has helped destroy.
    Sigh!
    Cindy, I found a gorgeous Owl Mural in Winnipeg. I’m not sure when I will post it, but when I do, may I link to this post & thank you when I do? I believe it will be a great teaching moment. _Resa xo

    • I would be most honored Resa and I am so looking forward to seeing the mural! We were at the Salton Sea yesterday and watched owls all afternoon. I so agree with you, having to protect species that we drive the drink of extinction says a lot about our species and it very sad! <3

      • Yay!
        I think we have a teaching moment… of of sorts here. I will do the Owl post In March with the link to your Owl post.
        I am doing Kids’ month again this year, for all of March.
        I will have kid friendly murals & street art, poets are dedicating some poetry to go with the art, I’ll do at least 1 book review of a youth book, Gigi did 3 Chicklets posts for me and I will feature several prominent Children’s Charities on my Sidebar for the month.
        I’m so excited!!!

  16. That is amazing that gophers and squirrels share burrows with them. Maybe not when babies are small? I really think animals are evolving as fast as we are devolving. On cold night we had a pair of small red foxes, along with a pair of mediums sized raccoons, and a pair of possums and a pair of armadillos all eating peaceably close together under our bird feeders. And a friend posted a photo last week of a hawk and a male cardinal on the same branch in a tree outsider her house. A shame we don’t seem able to share as well as wild animals.

    • “I really think animals are evolving as fast as we are devolving.” I couldn’t possibly agree with you more. We are devolving moving to a more primitive, base state. Animals have so much to teach us, but too many of us aren’t listening and don’t care.
      Science is finally starting to catch up by studying animal intelligence. Rats are compassionate, ravens have a sense of personal consciousness, animals have been documented grieving, having funerals, helping other species that in trouble. Maybe we never really wanted to know all this because maybe we suspect animals are nicer than we are. They don’t have wars, genocides, bombs. They don’t pollute the planet, drive species to extinction. They don’t amass wealth, withdraw health insurance.
      You really got me going here didn’t you? Obviously what you say resonates with me.
      Thank you.

  17. I find your blogs so interesting. What you are doing is so thankful. The pictures tell all. You are a great humanitarion! I have nominated you for the “Blogger Recognition Award”. You have an outstanding blog. Your pictures are at times breathtaking! 💖 I hope you will accept the award. You need to go to my blog for details. simplysplendidfood.com. Thank you for having a great blog!

    • Your kind thoughtfulness touched my heart. Thank you for such lovely thoughts and for your much appreciated support. Unfortunately I am an award free blog but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate your generous consideration. Thank you my friend and cheers to you! <3 <3

    • They are extremely elusive in my neck of the woods too. Seeing one is always cause for celebration, although I do hear them almost every night. Thank you for supporting the 🦉🦉 my friend & cheers to you!

  18. Owl be darned. Fascinating. I was in a condo complex the other day and a coyote was sauntering down the street mid-afternoon. It’s like post-apocalypse only the day before, not the day after.

    • Coyotes are getting very bold. He was probably looking for a small dog or cat to eat, so hopefully your neighbors keep a careful eye out on their pets. We have three packs of them at The Holler. They tend to come closest when they are very hungry!

  19. Great shots Cindy. I’m in awe of owls. There’s one who lives just outside our dining room window. I hear it at night and in early morning, but have never seen it. Don’t know what kind it is.

  20. Beautiful shots, Cindy! The owl is the mascot at my daughter’s college (Warren Wilson), and it makes for a regal logo. Also, there’s a place similar here in Charlotte, where owls and other raptors are rehabilitated and housed if they cannot be released into the wild.

    • I am so impressed with people who donate their time for the greater good, wild life rescue people are such. So glad to hear about the facility in Charlotte. My husband was a prof at UNC so you were neighbors! Cheers to you Eli & thank you for appreciating the wise little 🦉🦉!

        • Laughing…..My son in law went to KU and I happily told some people I met who were Kansas State alumni, and they completely snubbed me. I guess the two schools dislike each other. These people were my age for heavens sake!

  21. Amazing pics, Cindy… this little owl is very like our NZ owl called a morepork… we watch them diving for moths in the light of a search light and calling to each other, sounding like the words ‘ more pork’

  22. Hi Cindy, I really love owls. We used to have some in our neigbourhood, but sadly we don’t see them anymore due to people using rat poison on vermin. However, there is a campaign of awareness to try and bring them back. Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures! 🙂

    • They are pretty darn adorable aren’t they and very curious too which makes them even more beguiling. So pleased you enjoyed them Rhonda & cheers to you my friend~

  23. Pingback: What a Whoot! | Graffiti Lux and Murals

  24. Without a doubt, the photos convey the beauty of the owl. Each of them are magnificently accomplished. Good for your art and thanks for sharing.
    Happy weekend
    Manuel Angel

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