All of those pictures will be posted soon but I still had a few shots of the burrowing owl that I photographed in South Dakota this summer that I wanted to post first.
When most people think of owls they think of a large bird that hides in the trees during the day and comes out to hunt at night. The burrowing owl is pretty much the opposite of that stereotypical image of the owl.
Although you can sometimes find them in trees they are more often found on the ground, or in this case on hay bails. That is because unlike most owls they nest underground, either digging a burrow of their own or commandeering one from a small mammal, such as prairie dog, armadillo or skunk.
Another thing that is different about burrowing owls is that they can often be seen hunting during the day, which would make them diurnal. This owl would come to the same field each afternoon, at least for the 3 days that I was there, where it would hunt for rodents and insects from its perch on top of the hay bails. It is impossible to tell if it was a male or female because, unlike other owls and raptors, both sexes of burrowing owls are the same size.