12 Fascinating Facts About A Colorado Bird You May Have Never Seen
Colorado is home to over 500 species of birds and a lot of outstanding bird habitats, but have you ever seen this bird?
Owls of Colorado
Among all of the birds in Colorado, there are no less than 13 different species of owls including the popular great horned owl, the short-eared owl, the eastern screech owl, and the snowy owl - like the ones you see in the movie Dumb and Dumber.
One of the lesser-known Colorado owls is the burrowing owl which can be found throughout Colorado in various suitable habitats. These are small, long-legged, short-tailed, long-winged birds that stand 7 to 10 inches in height.
Birds That Live Underground
What is unusual about the burrowing owl is the fact that is that it doesn't live in trees, but usually in dry, open areas with short grasses and no trees. These birds can fly, but they actually nest in underground burrows created by prairie dogs, squirrels, or badgers. That means you might see burrowing squirrels on golf courses, cemeteries, airports, vacant lots, and pastures.
Burrowing Owls Can Be Difficult To Spot
The problem is, they can be really hard to spot if they aren't moving since they spend so much time on the ground and can often be hidden by forage. Oftentimes, the color of their feathers blends right in with the landscape. Additionally, since they often are using vacated prairie dog burrows, from a distance, they could appear to be prairie dogs instead of owls. Knowing what to look for and where to look is the key.
Colorado Parks & Wildlife says the owl habitat is slowly disappearing and burrowing owls have been negatively impacted by insecticides that kill grasshoppers, crickets, and beetles. The birds could become an endangered species in the near future.
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