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Burrowing Owl

Athene Cunicularia

The burrowing owl is a ground-dweller, nesting in underground holes or borrows. They are small, long legged birds with a cream colored chests. Their bodies are covered in brown and white spotted feathers. The borrowing owl does not have ear tufts like most owls. But with their bright yellow eyes and white brows, they sport their own distinctive look.

burrowing owl picture

Length About 11 inches
Weight Average of 6-8 ounces


Their diet consists mainly of small mammals and insects. They have also been known to eat amphibians and reptiles.


Current population estimates are not well known but trend data suggests significant declines across their range. Last official estimated place them at less than 10,000 breeding pairs.


The borrowing owl can be found in both South and North America. They live mostly in the west in the United States in dryer parts of Central and South Florida, with populations from Chile to Canada. The current population of the borrowing owl is unknown.


Unlike other owls, the burrowing owl tends to be active during the day and night. They live in colonies, mostly while raising their young. They usually will migrate during the colder seasons to warmer climates. They make a noise like a rattlesnake to ward off predators.

Mating Season
 Usually during early spring
Gestation Approximately a month
Clutch size 3-10 eggs
About six weeks after hatching, the young owls will begin to forage for insects. They can fly well at this age.