The Magnificent Burrowing Owl

The more I watch birds, the more I am amazed. In particular, I find the sheer variety of birds to be mind-boggling. We all know penguins can swim and we know they can't fly. And we all know that ducks can do both.

These facts are understood whether you watch birds or not. But watching birds shows us many interesting things about birds that aren't so obvious. As an example, one of my favorite birds is the Athene cunicularia - The Burrowing Owl, and here are a couple reasons why.

The Burrowing Owl, also referred to as the Ground Owl is not like other owls. It does not live in trees, it lives in the ground by taking control of homes abandoned by other animals. While it doesn't usually create the hole, this owl is quite capable of making major home improvements as needed. It can dig quite effectively using its long legs and powerful feet.

It can also be found living in buried vehicles or inside drainage pipes. The Burrowing Owl is quite opportunistic.Like other owls, it is a formidable hunter. However, unlike other owls, much of its hunting occurs during the day, instead of at night. Daytime hunting is done by foraging on the ground or running down insects and lizards.

Most of its hunting by flight is done during the night. Also, unlike most owls, the Burrowing Owl is susceptible to many ground predators. Snakes, coyotes, foxes, cats and even dogs are all known to hunt the Burrowing Owl.In the southwestern part of the United States, the Burrowing Owl is often seen perched atop fence posts along side agricultural fields. I have seen the same owl on the exact same fence post dozens of times. They are creatures of habit and rarely move far from their underground nest.

I am still excited each time I see the magnificent Burrowing Owl. As you spend more and more time watching birds, you too will develop your own personal favorites. For great family fun, go birding! Grab your binoculars and your field guide and Get Outdoors!.

.Chuck Fitzgerald, The Outdoor Guy, has written a beginner's guide to bird watching call "Learning to Bird.

" Visit http://www.birdwatchingebook.com to see just how easy and how much fun Bird Watching really is. Chuck is the owner of Arizona based BackCountry Toys, an online store helping you to have fun in the great outdoors.

To get maximum enjoyment out of your outdoor life, visit http://www.BackCountryToys.com where you'll find great gear and the Tips & Tales e-newsletter, "FreshAir.

" (800) 316-9055.

By: Chuck Fitzgerald



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