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Burrowing Owl 2 (graphics and text by A. Leon Miler)

October 21, 2011

Burrowing Owl

“‘Tis the middle of night by the castle clock,
And the owls have awakened the crowing cock;
Tu—whit! Tu—whoo!
And hark, again! the crowing cock,
How drowsily it crew.
Sir Leoline, the Baron rich,
Hath a toothless mastiff bitch;
From her kennel beneath the rock
She maketh answer to the clock,
Four for the quarters, and twelve for the hour;
Ever and aye, by shine and shower,
Sixteen short howls, not over loud;
Some say, she sees my lady’s shroud.”
(From Christabel by Coleridge)

Athene cunicularia, other wise known as borrowing owls.  There was a burrowing owl barrio in a dirt bank beneath the creosote in the desert behind where Grandma Mimi lived.  They come out in the daytime, and appear to be a gregarious lot.  Their talk is more of a “whoo whoo” than a “tu-whit! tu-whoo!”

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