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Burrowing Owl
Athene cuniculariaBurrowing Owls


Appearance: Small-sized owls, light tan in color, have long legs, and stubby tail. They have a distinctive white mask that surrounds their bright yellow eyes.

Range: From south British Columbia to south-central Manitoba and Pacific west and central states to Mexico and South America. Also found in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida.

Nesting: Underground burrows in small colonies. Will dig burrows but prefer old excavations from prairie dogs, ground squirrels, tortoises, and other burrow dwellers.

Eggs: 6-11 eggs per clutch - average 7-9. Incubation by both sexes. Eggs hatch in 3-4 weeks.

Diet: Primarily insects, such as grasshoppers, crickets, and arthropods - including scorpions and centipedes. Will prey upon small mammals, reptiles, and occasionally small birds.

Interesting Facts:

  • Varied vocalizations. When disturbed or threatened, Burrowing Owls have a specific vocalization, which closely mimics the buzzing of a rattlesnake
  • Often seen during the day standing by their burrows or on fence posts
  • Frequently observed sharing same habitat with Ground Squirrels


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