A unique prairie animal is back for the summer


In a recent report from Nature Saskatchewan, burrowing owls that call the prairies home have begun settling in for another summer. After returning from their winter quarters in southern Texas and Mexico, males have, if not already, begun stuffing their borrowed burrow with food. This little cellar, filled with mice and other prey, is designed to impress their future mate.

Burrowing owls can be recognized by their small size and their light dark brown speckled plumage with white spots.

Although they are called burrowing owls, they do not dig their own burrows. Instead, they adopt the construction methods of other burrowing mammals such as badgers or pocket gophers that have abandoned their already built homes.

These owls are generalist predators, meaning they catch anything small enough to reach with their talons.

Females only lay between six and twelve eggs, which sounds like a good amount, but these endangered animals are thought to have fewer than 300 mating pairs, so each nest is important for the survival of the species.

If you are fortunate enough to see a Burrowing Owl, please call Nature Saskatchewan's toll-free HOOT line at 1-800-667-HOOT (4668) or email [email protected].