Burrowing Owl
Burrowing Owl
Common Name: Burrowing Owl
Scientific Name: Athene cunicularia
Brown and tan with broad faces and very long, featherless legs.
Inhabit the desert of Kuneer, and live in small burrows. Their unusually long bare legs let them run quickly, as well as flying, although they do not fly very well.
Please note that this information is taken from the series and may not be factual.

Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia or Speotyto cunciculria) live on the prairies. In Canada, they nest in southern Saskatchewan and Alberta. There have been sightings in southern Manitoba. The owls are being reintroduced in southern British Columbia. Burrowing Owls use burrows that were dug by badgers, ground squirrels, or foxes. The Burrowing Owl is an odd-looking owl with long, thin, bare legs that make it look like it is standing on stilts. It has white eyebrows over its large eyes. Its feathers are brown with white spots, and the underparts are light-colored with brown spots.


Burrowing Owls eat many insects. Their favorites are grasshoppers and beetles. They also eat small birds, mice, voles and ground squirrels.

The burrow is lined with dried plants, feathers and wattle (dried manure). Six to twelve eggs are laid. Not all the eggs hatch at once. The egg that is laid first hatches first. The nest can get overcrowded. The older ones stand outside near the doorway and wait for the parents to bring something to eat. The parents might use more than one burrow as a home for the young owls. It is also safer to have more than one burrow.

The brown feathers make it harder to spot the burrowing owl in the dry grass. If an enemy comes near the father sounds an alarm and tries to lead the animal away from the burrow. If an enemy enters the burrow, the young make a hissing noise that sounds like a rattlesnake. This scares some animals away.

Burrowing Owls migrate south for the winter, but unlike other owls, they are not that good at flying and prefer to walk.

This little bird has many enemies. Snakes, other owls, hawks, badgers, skunks, foxes, weasels, cats and dogs eat the young birds or the eggs. Humans are also their enemies because people destroy the nesting areas.

The burrows can get flooded during a heavy rainfall.


Significant Burrowing Owls