California Burrowing Owls

Drove over to a new conservation property yesterday to take a look around and spotted one of many special status species that will be protected. Years ago we used to routinely see these critters at the local golf course, but over time their habitat has dwindled.

Once the golf course managers poisoned the ground squirrels the owls disappeared from that spot, but they’re still  in the neighborhood. The best place to find them is on heavily grazed grassland. Their eyesight seems to be their best defense mechanism and they thrive on open pastures where the young can dive into their burrow and the adults can fly for protection.

The burrowing owl depends upon the California ground squirrel to create its burrow.

Apparently a pair of owls was breeding at this site.

You often find the owls near home sites and small pastures where grazing is heavy.

Like many others, this burrowing owl lives near a residence.

Because the burrowing owl hunts during the day, they are typically more visible than other owl species. Often the adults are somewhat approachable.

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