Bringing Back Burrowing Owls

In the summer, Calgary Zoo researchers head out to British Columbia’s dry, hot Thompson-Nicola Valley to help wild burrowing owls. The tiny owls disappeared from the province in the 1970s, but reintroduction efforts are giving them a new lease on life. Partnering with the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of B.C., scientists from the zoo are helping improve the odds of successfully releasing burrowing owls back into the wild.

Conservation Status

Source: SARA

Zoo Researchers Get Endangered Species to "Say Cheese"

Remote camera traps are a bit like Candid Camera for endangered species, offering researchers a peek into the secret lives of animals facing environmental challenges.

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Burrowing owls live in underground burrows dug by prairie dogs and other burrowing animals. When threatened, they hide in their burrows and make a sound like a rattlesnake.

At a Glance

Scientific Name

Athene cunicularia


140 - 240 g (4.9 - 8.5 oz.)


19 - 28 cm (7.5 - 11 in.)

Conservation Status



Open, dry areas with low vegetation, including grasslands, deserts and agricultural areas


Large insects, small mammals, bats, amphibians, reptiles and birds

Are you ready to make some new animal friends?

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