Making sense of the world can be tricky when you have just entered it! This adorable baby burrowing owl has decided that the earth may look better upside down. In this hilarious clip, we see the little bird twisting its neck 180 degrees to get a unique perspective on what is going on. Perhaps we should all try this if we’re having a bad day!
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Where Do Burrowing Owls Live?
Borrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) are members of the Strigidae family of owls. Non-breeding individuals can be found from Central America (Honduras) north along the east coast of Central America into Texas and Louisiana. Their range reaches the west, extends to Central America, and is just south of the border of Arizona and New Mexico. Breeding populations, however, expand north through the prairies of southern Alberta into Canada. There’s also a resident population in Central and South Florida.
Do Burrowing Owls Actually Burrow?
As you would expect, burrowing owls are commonly found in burrows! Some of them dig their own, often seen in the Florida population. The burrows are up to 10 feet long and angle downward so the sunlight doesn’t reach the bottom. Other owls use burrows abandoned by badgers, ground squirrels, or even prairie dogs and coyotes. These owls prefer open areas that are open-canopied. They like environments with sparse ground vegetation and just a few trees. You can often spot them around agricultural areas and on prairies and plains. It’s not unusual to spot them in vacant lots in urban areas, airports, and fairgrounds!
What Do Burrowing Owls Normally Eat?
These owls live on a variety of insects, which can include grasshoppers and beetles. Most of their diet comprises arthropods – invertebrates in the Arthropod phylum, which provides for centipedes, spiders, and mites. That said, they can also catch small mammals such as mice and ground squirrels. They will also hunt small birds, such as sparrows if they can. Burrowing owls have also been seen catching snakes, lizards, and bats. They are adaptable birds who change their food habits depending on the season and the most available prey. Their usual technique is to hunt insects on the ground, but they can also snatch them from the air when they are on the wing. When tracking in the air, they use vegetation cover to hide them while they hover above small mammals.
These birds are mainly active during the day but hunt predominantly around sunrise and sunset. The rest of the time, they like to bathe in puddles, preen, and take dust baths!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © SunflowerMomma/Shutterstock.com
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