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Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia


The Burrowing Owl is a unique, terrestrial owl widespread in open habitats in the Neotropics. It has a distinctive, rectangular shape, small head, and long legs. Birds are conspicuous and, although mostly crepuscular, are often active all day. They are often observed perched on a fence or standing on open ground, generally near a burrow. The owls roost and nest in these burrows, which are usually abandoned mammal holes. They are found in grassland, savanna, desert, agricultural land and at airports, along road edges, and in residential developments. They occur throughout the Neotropics, but are absent from heavily-forested portions of the Amazon basin and Central America. Mexican populations are augmented in winter by migrants from the United States and Canada.

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© Geoffrey A. Keller

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: