Saturday, February 25, 2017

Inter-species Interactions

A fun aspect of setting cam traps around clusters of old badger burrows, is that the burrows often attract squatters and homesteaders.

In this case, an overwintering burrowing owl.

burrowing owl

burrowing owl

burrowing owl

I heart burrowing owls. The idea of a little owl that lives in burrows always makes me smile.

But as this camera caught, the same burrows attract other visitors and drive-bys, including at times when the owl is home.

Creating the ole "friend or foe?" decision for Mr. Owl.

Here's a series in which a coyote shows up, flushing the owl (from the far burrow), who then returns 7 minutes after the coyote leaves.

coyote flushes burrowing owl

coyote

burrowing owl back

burrowing owl

But note the owl's behavior a few days later, when a black-tailed deer wanders near.

deer and burrowing owl

deer and burrowing owl

deer and burrowing owl

deer and burrowing owl

deer and burrowing owl

Wise little owl.

burrowing owl

Such interactions also apply to visiting camera trappers.

burrowing owl looking at me

For the record, I did better than the coyote. The owl only flushed when I was standing by the burrow looking down at it (with a big grin on my face). But I approached out of camera view on the right, so the cam trap unfortunately didn't catch it.

And finally, of course, sometimes inter-species interactions don't go as well for one party.

burrowing owl eating j-cricket

Mmmmmmm... Jerusalem cricket. I bet they don't taste like chicken.

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