#373: Burrowing Owl

I had a tip that Burrowing Owls were relatively common at San Jose Mineta International Airport, so last night at sunset before dropping off my rental car and catching the red eye home, I stopped in the long term parking lot to scan the runways. I parked roughly in the middle of the lot (section 101) and walked south toward the tower as far as I could. I saw a Red-tailed Hawk, one Northern Mockingbird, and one owl burrow but no owls.

I turned back around and walked north. I saw one American Crow and had a breif flurry of excitement that turned out to just be a Mourning Dove. About three quarters of the way toward the north end of the lot, I saw something fly from the fence into the grass. It was getting dark, but not so dark that my binoculars couldn’t clearly pick it out as a Burrowing Owl! It perched in the grass, flew to a new perch in the grass, then flew back to the fence. If it hadn’t been flying and perching on the fence, I would never have spotted it in the grass. Possibly there were multiple owls in the grass that I walked right by.

Burrowing Owl perched on barbed wire fence

It was a little bigger than I was expecting. Somehow I was thinking it was the size of a Sawwhet, but in fact it was a little bigger than a Screech Owl.

Burrowing Owl preening


One Response to “#373: Burrowing Owl”

  1. Mokka mit Schlag » #479 Greater Antillean Grackle Says:

    […] think this is the second life bird I’ve gotten at an active airport. The first was the Burrowing Owl at San Jose Mineta a few years ago. « How to Use Multiple Credit Cards for a Single Amazon […]

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