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Burrowing Owls

Photo by Joe Carter, courtesy of the Sibley Nature Center

More than a dozen species of owls live in the Chihuahuan Desert region—from the large great-horned owl to the tiny elf owl. Most people think of owls as nocturnal hunters, living in forested or riparian areas where trees provide roosts and nest sites. But one of our region’s owls is different, preferring to greet the sun from an abandoned prairie dog burrow in open grassland. Who is this tiny ground-dwelling bird?