He told me that he saw 3 little ones near the nesting hole, but he wasn't happy with how the photos turned out because they weren't very clear. I told him to send them anyway and I would see what I could do with my Photoshop software and here are the results. I put arrows on this photo so you could identify all 3 babies.
I didn't see the third one 'til he called me this afternoon and told me where to look for it (you can just see it's left eye and eyebrows showing above the grass). It's been really hot and dry there and you can see how well these little owls blend in with their habitat.
Here's one more picture from another angle. Aren't they cute?
I hope this owl is still nesting in the same area when I plan to visit Brother Phil and his family in California next year.
Phil also took these photos of a large flock of Whimbrels near Travis AFB.
Notice the haziness in this photo? This place is very close to the wildfires that areas of Northern California are currently trying to control.
We're kind of torn between Whimbrel and Long-Billed Curlew on these birds, but based on the size of the birds compared with the crows in the picture, we've decided Whimbrel is probably what they are. Phil said that looking at these birds, the beak didn't appear long enough to be the curlew and he was sorry the pictures didn't turn out better. I told him thanks anyway for sharing the pictures with me, so I could post them in my blog. It's really fun for me to have siblings who are also interested in birds and will call me up or send me e-mails and pictures with their cool bird sightings and stories.