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Burrowing Owl courtesy of The Owl Pages
Name: Burrowing owl 
Scientific name: Athene cunicularia
Range:All of North and Central America
Habitat: grasslands and deserts
Status: Not threatened 
Diet in the wild: rodents, insects and small birds
Diet in the zoo: mice
Location in the zoo: Texas Wild! In the panhandle section.
Physical description: 
  • Length 21.6-28cm (8-11 inches)
  • Wingspan 50.8-61.0 cm (20-24 inches )
  • Weight170.1-214g (6-8oz)

These owls have white eyebrows yellow eyes and long legs.They lack the eartufts common to most owls.They are sandy colored with with white to cream barring on their chest. 


Photo courtesy of Cathy Hughes
  Click to hear a male
 Burrowing Owl Call
(Owl Pages)

General information:

Burrowing Owls can build their own homes,but they prefer to live in old prairie dog holes. Often many owls live togather in a social group. They are active both day and night and can often be seen standing guard outside their burrows.

Special anatomical, physiological
or behavioral adaptations:

Burrowing owls fly with irregular wing beats.They hover during hunting and courtship,and may flap their wings asynchronously (not up and down together).

Juveniles can give a rattlesnake like buzz when threatened. This fools preadators into thinking that there is somthing a lot more dangerous than an owlet in the burrow.

 Juvenile burrowing owl courtesy of The Owl Pages

Comments about the burrowing owls of Texas Wild!:


These owls are part of an interactive exhibit that includes other animals native to the Texas panhandle.  They share their exhibit space with prairie dogs, whose burrows they may "borrow" when living in the wild.  

Personal Observations:
These owls are great to watch, they are active all day and sit out on their mounds looking really serious.

Source Materials and Related Links,.

Page author:{short description of image}Samantha Jones   Send E-mail 

 to mac@whozoo.org

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