Manitoba Bird Bird Atlas: Species At Risk

Burrowing Owl

Early Breeding and Last Migration Dates

South: Regions 1 to 8 Central: Regions 9 to 12 North: Regions 13 and 14
Early Breeding Last Migration Late Breeding Early Breeding Last Migration Late Breeding Early Breeding Last Migration Late Breeding
Apr-25 May-06 Aug-25

Breeding Evidence

Burrowing Owls are frequently seen perched on a fence post near a nesting burrow (image b). They tend to form small, loose colonies with several nesting pairs in one large pasture; in Manitoba there are currenlty only a few scattered pairs.

Habitat

Breeding Evidence Map

Burrowing Owls are frequently seen perched on a fence post near a nesting burrow (image b). They tend to form small, loose colonies with several nesting pairs in one large pasture; in Manitoba there are currently only a few scattered pairs.

Burrowing Owls prefer flat, treeless terrain, such as pastures grazed by livestock or the edges of agricultural fields. They favour open, sparsely vegetated areas with burrows excavated by American Badgers, ground-squirrels and other mammals. During the day, Burrowing Owls typically feed near their nests; but at night, they may range more widely, feeding in nearby fields in denser vegetation, which is the preferred habitat of the small mammals on which they feed.

They prefer nesting near Richardsonís Ground-squirrel colonies and modify the existing burrows for their own use. Recovery initiatives include placing badger-proof nesting boxes in many pastures. Like the Bairdís Sparrow, the Burrowing Owlís range has collapsed in Manitoba and now only a precious few pairs breed in the extreme southwestern corner of the province. For this reason, Burrowing Owls are considered particularly sensitive so please be extremely cautious in reporting sightings. Please do not report Burrowing Owl locations in any public forum such as Manitobabirds@yahoogroups.com but rather contact atlas staff or Manitoba Conservation.

-from COSEWIC and The Birds of Manitoba (p. 230)