Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of BC

All about Burrowing Owls

Hunting and Food

Deer Mouse (Microtus pennsylvanicus), an important high protein food source.

Burrowing owls feed on a wide variety of prey, changing food habits as location and time of year determine availability. Large arthropods, mainly beetles and grasshoppers, comprise a large portion of their diet. Small mammals, especially mice, rats, gophers, and ground squirrels, are also important food items. Other prey animals include reptiles and amphibians, scorpions, young cottontail rabbits, bats, and birds, such as sparrows and horned larks.

These owls are quite versatile in the ways they capture prey. They chase down grasshoppers and beetles on the ground, use their talons to catch large insects in the air, or hover in mid-air before swooping down on unsuspecting prey. They also watch from perches, then glide silently toward their target. Burrowing owls are primarily active at dusk and dawn, but will hunt throughout a 24-hour period, especially when they have young to feed.

Jerusalem Cricket (Genus Stenopelmatus).

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