Short-eared Owl Fence Post.
A short-eared owl sits atop a fence post. These open-country hunters can be found flying low over prairie and fields with buoyant, floppy wingbeats, looking sort of like a huge moth. I was lucky to snap this shot with the ear tufts visible - they are usually difficult to see.
Populations of short-eared owls are thought to be in a steep decline. Native prairie habitat loss from agriculture, livestock grazing, recreation, and development appears to be the major cause of population declines. Short-eared Owls require large uninterrupted tracts of open grasslands, and appear to be particularly sensitive to habitat loss and fragmentation.
There are a variety of ways that you can help ensure this species survival - including supporting conservation organizations, habitat programs and legislation that promote, support and protect native praire habitat.