A bird living under ground? This must be a joke! But it’s true; the Burrowing Owl of North America’s flatlands really does spend time underground! This owl nests in the burrows made by prairie dogs, badgers, skunks, and other small mammals. But don’t come a knockin’ on its door; when disturbed in its burrow, the Burrowing Owl lets out an alarm call sounding very much like the shake of a rattlesnake’s rattle; that’s sure to scare off any would be predators!
Though quite at home beneath the earth’s surface, the Burrowing Owl doesn’t stay underground all the time. It spends time above ground hunting for tasty prey like insects and rodents. Though the Burrowing Owl can fly, it prefers to hunt on foot, pursuing its prey by walking, hoppi ng, or running after it. Wouldn’t that be a site to see?
Maps provided by The Birds of North America Online and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.