Five Young Burrowing Owls

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Five Young Burrowing Owls

These five young Burrowing Owls are looking at something that is causing them to pay close attention — perhaps a hawk or some other possible threat; hence the big eyes! These owlets are six or seven weeks old and are still relying on mom and dad for food, although they are now quite good at catching bugs on their own. They wil stay near their network of burrows, learning to fly and hunt better until they’re ready to fend for themselves at the end of the summer. Aren’t they cute?!

Burrowing owls are born underground in burrows, often these are burrows built by prairie dogs. They hunt crickets, grasshoppers, and other bugs, as well as small mammals such as mice, and small reptiles. They are excellent parents, bringing food to their babies until the young ones are hunting bugs for themselves, and even afterwards for a while.

The adults have barring across their chests; the babies start getting these stripes as they get a little older. These five are just starting to get the very beginnings of barring. Baby burrowing owls can be very entertaining to watch as they run and jump and play with each other!

Photo taken on July 16, 2020, near Greeley, Colorado.

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