10 Facts About Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia)
- Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) will mostly take over previously-established burrows by hole-digging animals, including ground squirrels, badgers, and foxes (amongst others).
- Burrowing Owls love open fields with low native vegetation (like sparse shrublands) - this type of habitat makes it easier for them to hunt for food. In fact, Burrowing Owls usually only hunt prey within a one-mile radius of their designated burrows.
- While hunting, Burrowing Owls will typically wait upon a perch and, once their prey is targeted, swoop in for the kill!
- The diet of Burrowing Owls consists of insects, small rodents, small birds, and even some amphibians.
- Burrowing Owls tend to return to their same burrows every year.
- Other than a slight distinction in size, behavior and color, there really is no definite way to tell the difference between male and female Burrowing Owls, without conducting a DNA test.
- One of the main threats to Burrowing Owls arise from increasing losses of habitats due to development, along with the eradication of ground squirrels (the loss of squirrels equals the loss of burrows).
- The nesting season for Burrowing Owls typically begins in late March or early April. The female Owls are capable of laying up to 14 eggs and ocassionally, male wwls will have more than one mating partner!
- The Burrowing Owl chicks hang around their burrows for up to three months after they hatch. Although most will hatch, only four or five will survive.
- The average life span for a Burrowing Owl is ten years.