Burrowing Owls vs. Screech Owls

Burrowing owls are relatively small at 9 to 11 inches. They don’t actually dig a burrow; instead, they take over an abandoned animal burrow and then use their well-developed claws and long powerful legs to enlarge it into a nesting chamber, which they line with animal dung. Burrowing owls may develop a colony in the interconnected chambers of an uninhabited prairie dog “city”. They hunt in the evening, often following large animals that stir up prey. You may spot the birds lounging in the doorways of their burrows in the daytime.

Screech owls are about the same size as burrowing owls, but have shorter legs, and prominent tufts on their ears. During the day, they roost in hollow trees or old barns. They don’t construct nests; they lay their eggs in unimproved woodpecker hols in trees.

via Sierra Club

Text by J. Baldwin


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