Burrowing owl

Species profile

Name: the burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) is a small, long-legged owl found throughout open landscapes in North and South America.

Appearance: burrowing owls have bright yellow eyes, dark yellow or grey beaks, and prominent white eyebrows.

Size: they measure around 19 to 28 cm long with a wingspan of 50 to 61 cm and a weight of 140 to 240 g.

Diet: they mainly eat large insects and small rodents although they have a varied diet which includes small lizards, frogs, toads, doves, termites, crickets, and even prickly pears.

Did you know: burrowing owls often nest in burrows made by ground squirrels, a strategy also used by rattlesnakes. When threatened they retreat into their burrows and produce rattling and hissing sounds similar to that of a rattlesnake. This behavior is an effective defensive strategy against animals that are familiar with the dangers posed by rattlesnakes.

Location: they range from the south of Canada to southern Mexico and western Central America. They are also found in Florida and many Caribbean islands. In South America they are found in the northwest, throughout the Andes, and from southern Brazil down to Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.

Best places to see burrowing owls

According to reports submitted to WildSide, the best places to see burrowing owls are as follows:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Los Llanos
very high
very good
Valdes Peninsula
very good

Photo credit: suju under a Creative Commons license from Pixabay

Leave a Reply