Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wintu Audubon creates artificial burrows for Burrowing owl in Northern California

Using a grant from Audubon California, members of Wintu Audubon and other local bird enthusiasts in February constructed eight artificial burrows for Burrowing Owls in Chico. The weather held as the group installed two groups of four burrows each in the heavy wet soil of a location where the habitat will be conserved in perpetuity by the private property owner. Wintu Audubon conceived of the project because of the decline of Burrowing Owls, which is a California Species of Special Concern.

This type of habitat is important as increased development projects often result in the eviction of owls, caving in burrows and killing of the resident owls. According to local biologists, Burrowing Owls have been seen at the project location for nearly 20 years. Shortly after the project was completed, a Burrowing Owl was seen in the entrance of one of the artificial burrows. We are not sure if this is the one wintering there, or a new bird.

The project was funded through an Audubon California collaborative funding grant, which supports chapter conservation projects. Read more about the project in Wintu Audubon’s newsletter (page 7).

Photo courtesy Wintu Audubon. Pictured from left: Michelle Ocken, George Horn, Dorothy Davis, Dawn Garcia, Steve King, Nancy Nelson, Lonnie Swartout, Michele Swartout, Claudia Lyons-Yerion and Larry Jordan.

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