Bird of the Month- January is the Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl by John Hannan

2018 is the centennial anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  To celebrate this milestone, many nature and bird-oriented organizations have declared 2018 the Year of the Bird.  To learn more visit the National Geographic site: Year of the Bird

The Bolsa Chica Land Trust is going to honor the Year of the Bird with a Bird of the Month for the next 12 months!  If you have our 2018 Wings Over Bolsa calendar you can even enjoy our monthly bird photo with us at home every day!

So, without further ado, January’s bird of the month is the lovely, often grumpy looking, Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)!!

Burrowing Owls are found on the Mesa and uplands at Bolsa Chica.  They winter in the holes and mounds created by the CA ground squirrels and are often a favorite of photographers.  And how could they not be, look at that face!  They are small owls (9.5″ long, 21″ wingspan; 5 oz) but make it up with attitude.  These owls are one of the few owls you will see out and about during the day, and they love to eat bugs, and small mammals and reptiles.  Their preferred habitat is open grassland habitats, so our BCLT Stewards work at restoring native grassland habitat on the Mesa is super important, because this bird species is a listed species in CA.

To learn more about this bird you can visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s page on Burrowing Owls here or the Audubon page here

Learn more about the Year of the Bird from: Audubon, BirdLife International, National Geographic, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Photo: John Hannan

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