I took another tour of the farmlands and playas yesterday. The wheat fields are looking great, some are starting to ripen a bit even, and the pastures are thick and green. There are playas everywhere. There are also mosquitoes everywhere so all the swallows and flycatchers (and the mosquitoes) are in a feeding frenzy. Even with repellant I’ve been bitten quite a few times. I came across this prairie dog town as I wandered around Gray County and stopped to take a few photos of the Black-tailed Prairie Dogs. As I watched them I noticed one that didn’t look like the others and on closer inspection was able to get a few pictures of 3 Burrowing Owls.These owls use the prairie dogs burrows, crevasses, and even water culverts as roosting and nesting sights (as do rattlesnakes.) The owls aren’t very big, less than 25 cm, have long legs and like to stand upright on the ground. They are pretty common here in the summer, but this is the first time I’ve seen or photographed them.
Black-tailed Prairie Dogs