The burrowing owl, Speotyto or Athene cunicularia, is a ground dweller with long legs and yellow eyes. It often nests in small colonies within deserted burrows in open country. This endearing small owl is usually seen standing on a mound near the entrance to its burrow. Generally nocturnal, it hovers when hunting. As a defense against predators, this clever owl sometimes imitates the rattling sound of a rattlesnakes.
Photography by Frank S. Balthis