Nemesis Bird, Defeated!

I’ve been wanting to see a Burrowing Owl for years. Years. I’ve had a long series of near-misses, never quite managing to be in the right place at the right time to lay eyes on one. Well, no more.

Yep, the brown dot circled in red is an owl hunkered down at the entrance of its burrow at the Veterans Oasis Park in Chandler, Arizona. It was keeping a wary eye on the female Northern Harrier patrolling the area, and at one point when the harrier swooped directly over the owls’ mound it scurried back into the opening. It was fun to watch.

I’m taking advantage of the free wifi in the Phoenix airport to write this while I wait for my plane to start boarding. When I get back to northern Wisconsin tonight I should find three inches of snow on the ground waiting for me. About time!

13 thoughts on “Nemesis Bird, Defeated!

  1. It’s always fantastic to finally see a nemesis bird. For me this fall it was the Greater White-fronted Goose.

    I’d love to see a Burrowing Owl, too, but haven’t yet traveled to where they live. Congrats!

    1. White-fronted Goose would be a lifer for me – the only wild geese I’ve seen are Canada and Snow. (Well, I think theoretically I saw a Cackling Goose once – someone pointed to a big flock of Canada Geese and said “that one’s a Cackling.” But I feel like that hardly counts.) The one I’d really like to see eventually is the Brant.

      1. sonjarosas

        Ooh, Brant are awesome! They love to hang out on sand beaches along Puget Sound. They make an excellent addition to a bonfire, sunset, California sea lions, and bald eagles on a summer night!

      2. We’re fortunate in Ottawa to have the Ottawa River in our backyard; it is a major staging area for geese in the fall, so we get tens of thousands of Canada Geese and small flocks of Snow Geese, Cackling Geese and Brant. The White-fronted Goose is much trickier, though….they are usually only found singly, which is probably why it took me so long to see one. Now I have to find another one so I can photograph it! I have a feeling you’ll see your Brant before I get another White-fronted Goose.

      1. sonjarosas

        Whaa? No way! That’s pretty cool, though. I wonder how long it takes the owls to move in once they find the burrows and how they figure the dimensions for them… Anyhoo, neat birds!

  2. Roberta

    Congratulation on the burrowing owl sighting. Let me know when you are back in town and I can point you to another place to see them.

    Did you get to see a snout butterfly?

    1. Nope, still have yet to see a snout. We also tried to find a Western Screech-owl at the Desert Botanical Garden – my mom had gotten directions on exactly which cavity in which cactus it generally hung out in during the day – but it wasn’t there when we checked. Anyway, I’ll be back over the holidays.

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