I have photographed Burrowing Owls before, but I had to go to the the Black Hills in South Dakota and to Cape Coral, Florida to see them. It is pretty rare to see one in Iowa, but with a little help I was able to locate this one in Humboldt County, IA, in a farm field. This photo was taken from the car and heavily cropped. There was a lot of heat shimmer coming up from the field which causes a loss of detail in the photo, but I didn't want to go out in to the field and spook the bird causing it to fly away. I chuckled when I saw the photo. I wondered if the owl was doing the Hokey Pokey - "Put your right foot in..." There has been quite a lot of buzz about this owl among birders and I felt fortunate to locate it to get a few photos.
As were were driving home my lovely wife saw some burrow holes in the ditch along a county road not far from the owl location. I wondered if they might be fox dens and turned the car around. I stopped in the middle of the road to take a look and a badger popped his head out of the hole. I grabbed the camera and took a few photos and then he backed down the hole. I have never seen a badger in Iowa. This was pretty cool.
(Click each image to see larger.)