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Aug
20
Young Burrowing Owls are learning the tricks of the trade!

 

Regina, SK – August 20, 2018 - After weeks of being fed by their parents, young Burrowing Owls are now able to forage for themselves and perch up on lookouts and fence posts. If you are traveling around southern and central Saskatchewan, it is a great time to spot a Burrowing Owl. However, vehicles can be dangerous for the young and inexperienced owls. Just like teenagers, the young Burrowing Owls have to learn the way of the world, and that includes learning the way of the road. “The juveniles often forage in roadside ditches, where they find small invertebrates and rodents that tend to congregate at dusk,” explains Kaytlyn Burrows, Habitat Stewardship Coordinator at Nature Saskatchewan. “But unfortunately, the young can be killed by motorists while foraging along the sun-warmed road.”

The Burrowing Owl population has been steadily declining, making the survival of each and every juvenile owl critical for the ultimate survival and growth of the species. However, there are some things that we can do to help the juveniles survive this critical learning curve. “When motorists are driving in Burrowing Owl habitat, and especially near known nest sites, it’s important that they take a few extra minutes and slow down. This will reduce the risk of owl-vehicle collisions.” The owls are often found nesting in native or tame prairie that has been well grazed by cattle, as this shorter grass allows them to spot predators. They are often seen standing on their burrow, on nearby fence posts, or foraging in ditches.

 

Nature Saskatchewan has been involved with the protection and conservation of the Burrowing Owl for over 30 years, but its success would not be possible without the help of landowners, land managers, and the public. Operation Burrowing Owl works with landowners across southern and central Saskatchewan, and uses voluntary agreements in an effort to preserve the rapidly disappearing habitat that the species needs. The program works alongside landowner practices, and the land continues to be used in a way that benefits the landowner.

 

“If you see a Burrowing Owl, please give us a call on our toll-free Hoot Line, at 1-800-667-HOOT (4668),” Burrows mentions. “You will be helping to monitor the population and aid with conservation efforts.” Personal information is never shared without permission.

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For further information please contact Nature Saskatchewan:

 

 

Kaytlyn Burrows, Habitat Stewardship Coordinator
(306) 780-9833
email obo@naturesask.ca

 

Melissa Ranalli, Species at Risk Manager
(306) 780-9270
email mranalli@naturesask.ca

 

 

Nature Saskatchewan

206 - 1860 Lorne Street

Regina, SK S4P 2L7

Phone: (306) 780-9273 or Toll Free: 1-800-667-4668

Fax: (306) 780-9263; Email: info@naturesask.ca

Photo credit: K. Borrows

Photo credit: J. Villeneuve

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