• Andrea Bernhardt

Florida Burrowing Owls

The cutest owls you have ever seen!

Burrowing Owls
Burrowing Owl Babies

I first heard about burrowing owls last year when I was on Marco Island.

Burrowing Owl

I instantly fell in love with how cute and little they are and they easily became my favorite animal.

burrowing owls
Owl sitting on its perch

Florida is working hard to protect them and their habitat. If you ever noticed pvc pipe and ropes surrounding a small area, then you have seen their protected habitat.

burrowing owl
You lookin at me?

They grow to be around 9 inches tall and are the only owl to dig their own burrows and live underground. You will also see them out in the daytime unlike most owls. The female owls are darker than the male owls.

burrowing owl
Sitting outside its burrow

They live on Marco Island year round but many do not use the burrows after their young fledge. During this time there are many volunteers that help to keep the burrows clipped and ready to use the next time.

The burrows are typically active during nesting season which is January through June.

burrowing owl
Keeping an eye on me and what I'm doing

We went to Florida later in March this year so I was able to see the babies and they were adorable, curious and playful.

burrowing owl
Brown eyed burrowing owl

I thought that the babies had black eyes because a lot of them did and then I noticed that some have yellow eyes so I did a little research. I found out that the dark eyes could be caused by a genetic issue because they do not migrate which has led to more inbreeding. They call them “brown-eyed” owls.

burrowing owl
Chillin in the sand next to the burrow

If you are ever in Marco Island be sure to check out these cute little owls but don’t get too close. They do hiss at you and it stresses them out so keep a safe distance.

burrowing owl
They often stand on one foot and tuck the other one up

The greatest threat to these adorable owls is habitat destruction so it's great to see so many wonderful volunteers working hard to protect them and their habitats.

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