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We are thrilled and honored to have come across such a beautiful owl during one of our recent local hikes. In fact this gorgeous burrowing owl is exactly in the same spot every time I go back to visit.
There is something of the marvelous in all things of nature. — Aristotle
Burrowing Owls are small owls with extra bright yellow eyes and long legs. They live in burrows they’ve dug themselves or taken over one from a prairie dog, ground squirrel, or tortoise. They live in grasslands, wetlands, and other open habitats, and primarily eat insects and small mammals.
Sadly their numbers have declined drastically, mainly due to habitat loss and due to prairie dog and ground squirrel control programs, also many are killed by cars, and many are killed from eating poisoned mammals.
Biologists consider the Burrowing Owl as an indicator of wider ecosystem health. However, they are endangered and near extinction in some areas.
They are considered endangered in Canada, threatened in Mexico, and is considered a species of special concern in Florida and most of the western U.S. It is also listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s international “Red List” of endangered and threatened species. Their population in San Diego area where I spotted this owl is at risk of going locally extinct!!
What are some things we can do to protect them?
We need to do our best to protect their habitat. Maintain burrows. Restrict use of pesticides and not use rat poison.
How do you think we can protect them? We would love to hear your thoughts!