Learn about the burrowing owl, a goofy-faced bird thats become scarce in Canada.
Owls have a reputation for being wise and regal birds. (Take the majestic snowy owl, for example.) Then there’s the burrowing owl: a short, chubby bird with a goofy expression and knock-kneed legs. Sadly, this jokester of the owl family has become scarce in parts of Canada.
Preferring open grasslands, burrowing owls can be found across North and South America.
Why are they threatened?
Although listed as a Least Concern species by the IUCN, burrowing owls are considered endangered in Canada. These little guys have had to deal with a laundry list of troubles, including habitat loss, decreased prey, pesticides, migratory problems, and vehicle collisions. These threats have caused their populations to dip in prairie provinces and disappear entirely in Manitoba and BC.
Thankfully, recovery programs across Canada continue to boost burrowing owl numbers. To show that you give a hoot about the burrowing owl, support conservation efforts in your province, such as the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of BC or the Saskatchewan Burrowing Owl Interpretive Centre. You can also check out our article, “Going, Going, Gone,” for tips on how we can help protect Canada’s bird species at risk.