Facts about Burrowing Owl. The Burrowing Owl is a type of owl that belongs to the genus Athene of the Strigidae family. "Scientific name for Burrowing Owl is Athene cunicularia". Burrowing Owl can be largely found all through open landscapes of South and North America. Burrowing Owls prefer to live in rangelands, grasslands, deserts, agricultural areas, or any other open arid area with little vegetation.
Features of Burrowing Owl
The Burrowing Owl is a tiny ground-dwelling bird, such that the female owls are bigger and heavier than the males. Burrowing Owls have a body length that ranges from 7 7/16 inches to 11 1/4 inches (19 cm to 28cm), with a wing length between 5 11/16 inches and 8 inches (14.2 cm and 20.0 cm). The length of the tail of these owls ranges from 2 7/16 inches to 4 7/16 inches (6.4 cm to 11.4 cm), with the body mass between 0.3 lbs and 0.5 lbs (147 grams and 240 grams).
The Burrowing Owl has a small body size with elongated legs, a round head, without ear tufts. The facial disc of the Burrowing Owl is light brown in color, with prominent white color eyebrows over the bright yellow colored eyes. The bill of the bird is grey-olive in color and its cere is gray-brown in color. The bird has a distinctive white color throat band.
The upper parts of the Burrowing Owl are brown in color and its crown and forehead will have white color dots and streaks. Other parts of the body of the bird are erratically dotted with white to light ochre big, rounded marks. The flight feathers of the bird are barred, pale and dark, and its brown colored tail has 3 to 4 light bars.
The underparts of the Burrowing Owl are white to light buff in color, with thick dusky brown color bars. Its tarsi are conspicuously elongated and thinly feathered. The olive-grey colored toes of the owl are bristled, and it has dark horn colored claws, with black color tips. Generally, female owls are darker than the male ones.
Diet of Burrowing Owl
The Burrowing Owls usually feeds on an extensive variety of prey. The Burrowing Owl will change its food habits, according to the season and the place it lives. The Burrowing Owl feeds on big arthropods, mostly grasshoppers and beetles. The Burrowing Owl will also feed on small creatures, particularly rats, mice, ground squirrels, gophers, amphibians and reptiles, scorpions, bats, young cottontail rabbits, and birds, like horned larks and sparrows.
Behavior of Burrowing Owl
The Burrowing Owl usually roosts and nests in burrows, such as those dug by prairie dogs. Burrowing Owls are different from other owls such that they habitually active during the daytime, even though they are inclined to keep away from the midday heat. However, similar to several other types of owls, Burrowing Owls perform the majority of their hunting from dusk pending dawn, when they can exploit their night visualization and hearing their benefit. Burrowing Owls use their elongated legs to run as well as fly at the time of hunting.
Breeding of Burrowing Owl
The breeding season of the Burrowing Owl starts during late March or April. Usually, Burrowing Owls are monogamous, but rarely, a male owl will have two mates. Courtship exhibits include blinking white spots, bowing, cooing, nipping and scratching. The male owl makes display flights, rising rapidly, hanging from 5 to 10 seconds, and then declining. This cycle is repeated several times. Circling flights will also take place during courtship.
The average lifespan of the Burrowing Owl ranges from 6 years to 8 years.