On my tour of the plains yesterday I was sure I would see my ‘first of the season’ of these cool little guys but I came up empty despite checking 10 different usual hot spots. I have no doubt though that they are out there and those spots will soon have their summer residents. This image was taken almost exactly one year ago on April 9, 2017.
During the summer Burrowing Owls can be found across much of the western United States. At more southern latitudes closer to Mexico and in Florida they stay in place year round. Unlike most owls, Burrowing Owls are diurnal (versus nocturnal) so it is quite common to find them out and about during the day.
Burrowing Owls are considered a threatened species here in the Colorado. Their numbers appear to be on the decline as humans take over and destroy their habitat. Many folks think nothing of wiping out Prairie Dog colonies, a keystone species itself, but don’t think of the cascading effects of that on all of the other creatures down the line, including these little guys.