Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)
The Burrowing owl is a small owl that is often seen in dry open areas such as rangeland, vacant home lots and deserts. Although it is not a wetland species I have decided to include it on this website because they are so common and live near wetland areas. Burrowing owls true to their name dig their nests in the ground and can be seen standing near their nests when you travel by their habitats. They sometimes use the holes dug into the ground by tortoises, prairie dogs, skunks and armadillos. The Burrowing owl is diurnal and hunts during the day and night for it’s food. This owl as you can see from the picture which I took at a nature fair is mostly brown with white spots. It has sharp claws for feet which is one method to grab it’s prey. They feed upon a variety of things including insects, other birds, reptiles, scorpions, and mammals. The Burrowing owl is a protected and endangered species in some states. I have seen yellow ribbons stretched across wooden stakes in the ground to alert people that protected birds are living in that area and not to disturb their nests. You can learn more about conservation efforts of this owl at the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network. You can hear the chirping sounds made by the Burrowing Owl at AllAboutBirds .Click on the audio link when you scroll down a little and see typical voice.
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