This cute little owl is a juvenile short-eared owl. Since I'm new to birding and am not really confident with some ID's, a birder friend helped me ID it.
We were driving home and saw this little guy by the side of the road and partially in it. We slowed and he flew and landed right in the middle of the road in front of us. The sun was just about down and I still had my polarizing filter on my lens causing a further loss of light, so it's a bit blurry. It was also taken through the windshield so that adds to the lack of clarity, but at least I got a photo that was good enough for ID purposes. He looked so lonely, I hope his family was close by. I'm not sure how old it is, but it is a young one.
This is the first time I've seen a SE owl in the wild, so it was quite exciting! I will add it to my life list. I've not gotten so in to birding that I'm competing with my lists; they are just for my own enjoyment and purposes at this point. My kids already jokingly or maybe not so jokingly call me the "Crazy Bird Lady". Oh well, they could be calling me worse, I suppose. haha Maybe I'm still more of a bird-watcher than a birder. Maybe one of you true birders can help me out with that one. :D