Burrowing owl, Living Coast Discovery Center, San Diego Wildlife

Curious Conservationist Question of the Day: BURROWING OWL

The burrowing owl finds its home in burrows created by other animals, such as ground squirrels and prairie dogs.

What sound does the burrowing owl mimic when threatened?

A.  Screech of a hawk

B. Rattlesnake’s rattle

C.  Growl of a mammal


Answer: B. Rattlesnake’s rattle

Burrowing owls are quite noisy and are known to make many different vocalizations. . . including a hiss that sounds like a rattlesnake’s rattle when it feels threatened.

Such a wise owl!  The owl knows rattlesnakes also inhabit burrows created by these types of animals and can use the same warning sound the rattlesnake uses.  Unfortunately this sound does not scare away rattlesnakes, which is a common predator of the owl. Go figure.

Here is an article by Birdnote that allows you to listen to the frightful hiss of the burrowing owl.   It is quite fascinating!

Burrowing owls are found in low vegetation areas throughout North and South America.  Unlike most owls, the burrowing owl is diurnal- or active during the day- and prefers to live on the ground rather than in trees.

Sadly, car fatalities, feral cats /dogs, declining prairie dog and ground squirrel populations (their burrow makers), and loss of habitat are all factors that are causing a decrease in this unique owl’s population.

What is your favorite owl species?


Until next time my friends, this is Ms. Mallory inviting you to . . .

Ms. Mallory Adventures, Ms. mallory, Step Outside and Adventure

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