Beatnik Birding: The Southern California Desert

by Bryce W. Robinson

Burrowing Owl- Athene cunicularia

Burrowing Owl- Athene cunicularia

I’ve made a stop in the California Sonoran to conduct nesting bird surveys for a bit. This will be the end to the southwest tour of the beatnik birder. The roads I have travelled and the places I have seen… These times will be remembered.

My time here is brief, but long enough to once again experience the nesting season of the Sonoran. I’ve already had some amazing experiences with nesting birds, and found some of the most delicate lifeforms I’ll ever encounter.

The photo I share today is of a dedicated Burrowing Owl on the south end of the Salton Sea, standing watch over his tiny kingdom. He was so serious, I’ll have you understand. He took no notice of my vehicle as I encroached on his business. He was about a higher task, to ensure his legacy. He did not bother with me, for which I was fortunate. Soon I was too close for my lens to focus, so I stopped with my intrusion. It was a blessing to encounter such a stubborn owl, so I did not take anything for granted. After taking my fill of photographs, I simply watched.

I could have watched, and filmed, and taken notes, and drawn, and continued to pore into the world of this owl. But I left him to his task. There he remained, watching his land, diligent and dedicated. It is my hope that there he will forever be.

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