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Friday, 07 September 2018 23:37

Burrowing Owl Events

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Boosting awareness of burrowing owls and their habitat will be the focus of three events beginning next month, hosted by the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of BC and World Wildlife Fund Canada.

Burrowing owls, an at-risk species, are "charismatic little ground dwelling owls of semi-arid grasslands," the society said, adding they are native to the southern Interior.

The society breeds and releases owls into the region, and volunteers build artificial burrows for them to nest in upon being released.

The first workshop takes place on Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. near Oliver, at a breeding facility located behind the South Okanagan Recovery Centre for Owls.  There, participants will build burrows before a discussion on conservation for the final hour.

A second event will take place on Oct. 5 at the Osoyoos Visitor Centre, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attendees there will head to a "well-established site" to install burrows and remove invasive plants from their entrances.

A third event is scheduled for Oct. 13 at the Quilchena Resort near Merritt from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., similar to the one taking place in Osoyoos.

"The fall is a perfect time to install and/ or repair burrows for the owls as they have migrated to their wintering grounds in California and even into Mexico," the society noted.

Space is limited, and those looking to participate can find more information and register here.

Article by Castanet

Wednesday, 18 March 2015 07:21

WildLens Eyes on Conservation

Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) are a small (150-180 g) species of owl that nests in the natural grasslands of North and South America.

They live in burrows that are first constructed by other burrowing mammals; in BC these mammals are usually badgers and ground squirrels. They are the only owl that nests in the ground, hence their name “burrowing.”

When they first establish a burrow, they remodel the inside by kicking out old dirt.

Sadly, these charismatic owls have been disappearing throughout their range over the last 30 years. In Canada they are listed as Red-Listed (meaning endangered), and in British Columbia they were deemed extirpated in the early 1980s.

There are several potential reasons for declines in Burrowing Owl populations: loss of habitat due to land development, loss of prey species (rodents, grasshoppers), possibly due to agriculture spraying; and the loss of burrowing animals (badgers, ground squirrels, marmots) to dig the holes Burrowing Owls live in. These factors combined with climate changes make this a complex multi-level conservation issue.

Read More at Wild Lens Burrowing Owls of BC

About BOCS BC

We are a non-profit society concerned about the conservation of species and habitats in BC.

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