On November 1st at 6:43 AM the burrowing owl made its only appearance -- ten days after we set the camera.
It immediately crept down into the burrow entrance where the camera captured images of its speckled interscapular and wing feathers.
Perhaps this assured the bird that nothing predacious was lurking below, because it spent the next 10 minutes above ground posing for pictures.
In my undergrad years I was quite taken with burrowing owls.
Their table scraps -- pellets, kangaroo rat legs, and rodent skulls -- decorated the dashboard of my car, mementos of good trips to the charming desolation of San Benito County.
According to Hans Peeter's book, Field Guide to Owls of California and the West (UC Press) burrowing owls decorate their nests and burrow entrances with chunks of cow flops and road apples.
Another endearing trait.
We'll be on the lookout for breeding burrowing owls in the spring.