Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The effects of management practices on grassland birds—Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea)

June 7, 2022

Keys to Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) management include providing areas of short, sparse vegetation and maintaining populations of prey species and of burrowing mammals to ensure availability of burrows as nest sites. In particular, the conservation of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) and Richardson’s ground squirrel (Urocitellus richardsonii) colonies is vital to the preservation of Burrowing Owls on the Great Plains. Burrowing Owls have been reported to use habitats with less than 31 centimeters (cm) average vegetation height, 5–12 cm visual obstruction reading, 12–36 percent grass cover, 29–45 percent forb cover, 1–11 percent shrub cover, 11–58 percent bare ground, and 6–27 percent litter cover.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title The effects of management practices on grassland birds—Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea)
DOI 10.3133/pp1842P
Authors Jill A. Shaffer, Lawrence D. Igl, Douglas H. Johnson, Marriah L. Sondreal, Christopher M. Goldade, Paul A. Rabie, Jason P. Thiele, Betty R. Euliss
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Professional Paper
Series Number 1842
Index ID pp1842P
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center