Owl Call: Monday March 9

Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)

At about 10 a.m. on Monday March 9, the Burrowing Owl in the nature area on the north side of the park was still present. It mostly hunkered down low in the grass, as in this photo, but occasionally popped up a little higher to check its surroundings.

As noted here several times, these owls are migrants spending the winter in California — this is their Florida — and historically they start their return migration before March 15. We don’t know exactly where they call home, but most owl students think Washington State, British Columbia, or Alaska. They could also come from the northern Plains states; the one owl that was ever seen in the park with a band on its leg came from Idaho. Years ago. Although they roost on and under the ground, and prefer to hunt with their legs rather than wings, they are highly capable fliers, and a migration of a thousand miles or two is well within their power.

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