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Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl
Scientific Classification
Order: Strigiformes
Binomial name
Athene cunicularia

The Burrowing Owl, Athene cunicularia, is a small owl.

Adults have brown plumage with white spotting, darker on the chest. The belly is white with brown bars. Their eyes and bill are yellow and they have long legs.

Their breeding habitat is open grassland or prairie across western North America and the far south of the United States. They nest in a burrow; they may excavate their own or take over one created by another burrowing animal such as a Prairie dog.

They are permanent residents in southern areas; northern birds migrate to Mexico and Central America.

These birds wait and swoop down from a perch, run down prey or catch insects in flight. They mainly eat large insects and small mammals. They can be active day or night during nesting; at other times, they are active at dusk and night.

This bird is endangered in many areas and has disappeared from much of its original range as a result of population control programs for prairie dogs and loss of habitat.

Burrowing owl