The Canadian Peregrine Foundation

Burrowing Owl
(Athene cunicularia)

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(Photos 2001-2002

Size: 23-28 cm (similar to American Robin).   Description: Long legs, white throat, boldly spotted except for strongly barred underparts.  Range: Southern British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.   Habitat: Grassland.   Nest: In deserted burrows, often as part of a colony. Usually lined with horse or cow dung and grasses. May excavate own nest on occasion.   Voice: Up to 17 identifiable vocalizations.   Diet: Wide range of insects, rodents, amphibians, reptiles, and occasionally birds.   Behaviour: Active both day and night. Typically stands on the ground or low perches such as fenceposts.   Notes: Bows when approached (a sign of agitation). Can imitate the rattle of a rattlesnake to scare away predators. Canadian populations are migratory; some winter in Mexico, but in general little is known about their travel routes or winter range.



Burrowing Owl profile - excerpt from Student's Guide to Canada's Wildlife at Risk


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