burrwoing owl
Burrwoing Owl ©dingodogphotography.deviantart.com

Order Strigiformes

Family Strigidae

Genus Athene

Class Aves

Scientific Name

Athene cunicularia

Other Names

Chevêche des terriers (French)

Lechuza llanera, Chicuate (Spanish)

Thumbnail Description

  • The burrowing owl spends much of its time on the ground.
  • The owl uses burrows of other animals such as kangaroos, marmots, badgers, skunks, ground squirrels, and armadillos.
  • They are active all day and night.
  • Burrowing owls are nearly the size of American robin.
burrwoing owl
Burrwoing Owl with its chicks ©www.smithsonianmag.com

Size & Weight

  • BODY-LENGTH: 19–28 cm (7.5–11.0 in)
  • WEIGHT: 140–240 g (4.9–8.5 oz)
  • WINGSPAN: 50.8–61 cm (20.0–24.0 in)


Grasslands, agricultural areas, open dry area, deserts, rangelands, prairies, shrubsteppe


Caribbean Islands, southern Mexico, western Central Mexico, southern Brazil, Tierra del Fuego, southern USA


Insects, small rodents, delicate vesper mouse, small lizards (tropical house gecko), frogs, toads, termites, katydids, Jerusalem crickets, scarab beetles, true crickets, millipedes, ground beetles, wolf spiders, earwigs, caterpillars, baby ducks, songbirds, shrews, grasshoppers, voles, moths, turtles, small weasels, salamanders, young rabbits

Number of Eggs

4 – 12 eggs

burrwoing owl
Burrwoing Owl’s lunch time ©dinascitywildlife.com

Eggs Size

LENGTH: 1.2–1.3 in (3–3.4 cm)

WIDTH: 1–1.1 in (2.5–2.8 cm)


A. c. cunicularia, A. c. grallaria, A. c. hypugaea, A. c. floridana, A. c. guadeloupensis, A. c. amaura, A. c. troglodytes, A. c. rostrata, A. c. nanodes, A. c. brachyptera, A. c. tolimae, A. c. juninensis, A. c. punensis, A. c. arubensis, A. c. intermedia, A. c. minor, A. c. carrikeri, A. c. pichinchae, A. c. boliviana, A. c. apurensis, A. c. partridgei, A. c. guantanamensis

Types of Burrowing Owl

  • Northern burrowing owl
  • Florida burrowing owl
  • Brazilian burrowing owl
  • Southern burrowing owl

Breeding Season

March or April

Incubation Period

21 – 28 days

Nestling Period

44–53 days


9 years (wild)

10 years (captivity)



Baby Name


Home Range


Group Size



Badgers, coyotes, snakes





Conservation Status

Least Concern