An adult burrowing owl emerges from its burrow at sunset in Davis, California
© Neil Losin/Tandem Stills + Motio
Here's looking at you
This bright-eyed burrowing owl is emerging from its burrow just in time to enjoy the sunset here in Northern California. And yes, you read that right—it’s a burrowing owl. Unlike most owls, burrowing owls nest and roost underground, often in tunnels abandoned by ground squirrels or prairie dogs. It's one of many traits that make the pint-sized species unique among owls. Burrowing owls live in grasslands, deserts, or other open dry areas with low vegetation. When threatened, they retreat to their burrows and are known to frighten off predators by mimicking the rattling and hissing sounds of a rattlesnake. And while most other owls sleep during the daytime, burrowing owls are often active in the daylight hours. It's as if they didn't finish proper owl training.