If a picture=1000 words, what is sound worth? #burrowingowls

Well, my brother Matt is visiting and he has in one fell swoop opened my ears to a whole new world.  We went for a walk on this trail near my house in Davis, CA where a massive number of burrowing owls live.  I have spent the last few months, on and off, trying to take some good pictures of these amazing owls.  Here is a slideshow of some of my favorites.


Anyway, while going on this walk, Matt brought an extensive collection of giant strange looking sound equipment.

 You see, he is a sound engineer in his spare time and this is, well, what he does. And when we found some owls he told us to mosey on down the trail so he could record. And here are some of his recordings – completely changing my view of these owls.

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsoundcloud.com%2Fmattrglenn%2Fburrowing-owls&secret_url=false Burrowing Owls by mattglenn

He has more detail about this on this blog.

Author: Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

6 thoughts on “If a picture=1000 words, what is sound worth? #burrowingowls”

  1. Of course, whenever I see these birds I have to think of the lyrics of “Stuart” by the 1980s comedic-punk group “The Dead Milkmen”

    “Anyway, for his tenth birthday, all he wanted was a Burrow Owl.
    Kept bugging his old man. 'Dad, get me a burrow owl. I'll never
    ask for anything else as long as I live.' So the guy
    breaks down and buys him a burrow owl.

    Anyway, 10:30, the other night, I go out in my yard, and there's
    the Wurster kid, looking up in the tree. I say, “What are
    you looking for?” He says “I'm looking for my burrow owl.”
    I say, “Jumping Jesus on a Pogo Stick. Everybody knows
    the burrow owl lives. In a hole. In the ground. Why the hell do you
    think they call it a burrow owl, anyway?”


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