Burrowing Owls

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by halleyhelms2
Last updated 8 years ago


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Burrowing Owls


The Florida burrowing owl occurs throughout the state. Burrowing owls inhabit prairies and cleared areas that have short groundcover including pastures, fields, golf courses, airports, and empty lots in neighborhoods. Humans have created new habitat for burrowing owls by clearing forests and draining wetlands.

The burrowing owl spends most of its time on the ground, where its sandy brown feathers provides camouflage from predators. The Florida burrowing owl is classified as a "species of special concern" by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

One of Florida's smallest owls, it is only 9 inches in height with a wingspan of only 21 inches. The burrowing owl has bright yellow eyes and a white feather pattern on their chin.


Burrowing owls use burrows year-round; for hibernating during the winter and for raising young during the breeding season. Florida's owls typically dig their own burrows but will use tortoise or armadillo burrows. Burrows are 4 to 8 feet underground and lined with grass clippings, feathers, paper, and manure.

Burrowing owls mainly eat insects, especially grasshoppers and beetles. They can be of special benefit to people since they also will eat roaches and mole crickets. Other important foods are small lizards, frogs, snakes, birds, and rodents.

Females lay 6 to 8 eggs, usually in March. She will incubate the eggs for 21 to 28 days.Young owls are covered with white downy feathers. They learn to fly at 6 weeks and leave their burrow when 12 weeks old.


By Halley Annabelle Helms!


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