Burrowing Owl –

burrowing owl

Burrowing Owl –

Burrowing owls are tricky; they break all the rules.

They live in holes in the ground, instead of in trees.  When I see a family of owls standing near their ground burrow, I wonder how they dug it.  Owls have sharp talons for grabbing prey, not digging.  But here’s the answer – they steal the burrows from prairie dogs.  Burrowing owls only live in prairie dog towns or places where other animals can dig their burrows for them.

Another rule they break is how they hunt. Most owls are nocturnal, but the burrowing owl comes out during the day (diurnal) to eat mice, grasshoppers, and other small insects.  They are easy to spot on the prairie.

Like most birds, burrowing owls mate in the spring and hatch soon after.  When their brood of about three owls hatch, the main predator of prairie dog towns hunts them – the rattlesnake.  When a snake or other predator threatens, the mother owl makes a hissing noise from inside the burrow and the snake slithers away.

Just when you think you understand nature’s rules, something like a burrowing owl comes along and rewrites them.

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