I am here in Davis, California hanging out with the family and getting ready to drive down to Lake Tahoe for a few days for some hiking, swimming, rock climbing, and other what-not. My brother, Jon (who runs his own blog HERE), knows of an area where burrowing owls have nests, so last night I went out with the field sound kit to try to get some owl calls recorded.
Well hey definitely live up to their reputation as silent flyers. Even when I approached a small group of them huddled together by a burrow they merely stared silently, a few ducking into the large circular entrances to their dens. Once I got close enough, though, one owl broke off from the group and flew a few yards to my other side, calling and flapping his wings wildly. I can only guess that this was a threat, distraction or some signal to the other owls in response to my presence, but the others silently started to scatter or retreat into the burrows. Most were gone in a matter of minutes, but for the 10 minutes of recording that I did I managed to pull together a few amazing examples of the single owl's calls:
Burrowing Owls by mattglenn
Jon has been photographing the owls for a while, you can see some of his pictures here (to see the full-size versions of the photos, hold your mouse over the yellow icon in the bottom left corner and click the link):
I will have the kit down in Tahoe and I hope to add to my wildlife sounds collection. Will post more soon!