The Desert Rivers Audubon chapter, the Town of Gilbert and Wild at Heart have partnered to develop a new Burrowing Owl habitat at Zanjero Park. This site is intended as a home for relocated/rescued Burrowing Owls. It also has perimeter burrows for local Burrowing Owls, or perhaps for the offspring of the relocated inhabitants.
This morning, the tent sheltering 5 male and 5 female BOs was removed after several weeks' acclimation period. It is hoped that these owls will pair up and make the man-made burrows their permanent homes. Already, one pair has an egg in a burrow, based on a videoscoping report. But at this point, human interventions recede and the owls are mainly to be observed.
I went to the park at sunset this evening for my first visit, expecting other owl nerds to be there, but I had the place all to myself! With my trusty 70-300mm zoom, I was able to get photos from the path without getting too close to the owls. Still, they were obviously aware of my presence.
Hopefully, as they become more accustomed to their new digs, they will feel safe to move about their habitat more. It's a lovely little desert park. And their burrows are very functional, but not terribly photogenic!