From looking at photos of burrowing owls now, I think what I have been seeing on camera in the Verdugos are the same - rather than screech owls, which is what I thought from their small size.
The owls I get on cam don't have ear tufts though.
Are you hiking/biking in the Verdugos, Matt?
CM, I don't believe that burrowing owls are found in the Verdugos. They have very specific habitat needs which aren't typically found in that range. Could you, or Matt, be seeing lesser nighthawks or common poorwhills?
The closest areas where I have seen burrowing owls are on some of the old dairy lands in Chino.
Also, CM, could you post a picture or two of those birds you are seeing??
HikeUp, That's nice!!! Didn't know that map existed...
Burrowing owls are generally a valley and grassland bird as the map sitings prove.
I used to see the owls on the UC Davis campus daily... cool birds!
They were / are very prominent on the Long Beach Airport and Skylinks Golf Course where I grew up.
The frogmouths also have that habit of not immediately flying off.
Here's one video. I have better stuff, just takes me a while to find the ones that aren't cats.
For scale, this bird is about 6-8 inches 'tall'. (Just from knowing this spot and the size of the rock he's on).
Nice videos, CM!! Definitely not burrowing owls... my vote is still for Western Screech Owl. Pygmy Owls have dark "false" eyes behind their necks. The other owl species in these mountains are much bigger.
The owl in the last video kindly spun around to allow a full view. Awesome!
Thanks Mike. Matt, have your camera ready on the next hike....
Burrowing owl seen on the North Ridge Trail in Chino Hills on December 1, 2001.