Burrowing Owl Facts
Measurements (both sexes)
- Length Wingspan Weight
7.5-9.8 in 21.7 in 5.3 oz
Size & Shape
A small ground-dwelling Owl with a round head and no ear tufts. They have a rounded head, and yellow eyes with white eyebrows. Burrowing Owls are comparatively easy to see because they are often active in daylight, and are surprisingly bold and approachable.
The Owl is sandy colored on the head, back, and upperparts of the wings and white-to-cream with barring on the breast and belly and a prominent white chin stripe. They have white eyebrows, yellow eyes, and long legs. The young are brown on the head, back, and wings with a white belly and chest. They molt into an adult-like plumage during their first summer. The females are usually darker than the males.
Burrowing owls generally active at dusk and dawn, but sometimes at night also. They are highly terrestrial, and are often seen perched on a mound of dirt, telegraph or fence post - frequently on one foot. They bob up and down when excited. Flight is with irregular, jerky wingbeats and they will frequently make long glides, interspersed with rapid wingbeats. They hover during hunting and courtship, and may flap their wings asynchronously (not up and down together).
Burrowing Owls are found in open, dry grasslands, agricultural and range
lands, and desert habitats often associated with burrowing animals,
particularly prairie dogs, ground squirrels and badgers. They can also inhabit grass, forb, and shrub stages of pinyon and Ponderosa pine habitats. They commonly perch on fence posts or on top of mounds outside the burrow.