Western Burrowing Owl


The Brandywine Zoo has two Western Burrowing Owls. Our female Dori, was hatched at the Sacramento Zoo on April 7, 2010. She came to use from the Sedgwick Zoo on April 3, 2013. Dori has a metal band on her left leg. Our male, Gimli, was hatched on May 6, 2017 at the Knoxville Zoo and was acquired on November 11, 2019.


While officially listed as Least Concern, Burrowing Owls are Endangered in Canada and Threatened in Mexico. They are considered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be a Bird of Conservation Concern nationally. They are Endangered in Minnesota, Threatened in Colorado, and a Species of Concern in AZ, CA, FL, MN, OK, OR, UT, WA, and WY.

Fun Facts

The burrowing owl is not nocturnal like most other species of owls.

Nesting female owls will add cow dung to their nest in order to attract insects for an easy meal.

Cowboys sometimes called these owls “howdy birds,”because they seemed to nod in greeting from the entrances to their burrows in prairie-dog towns.

Unlike most owls in which the female is larger than the male, the sexes of the Burrowing Owl are the same size.

When young burrowing owls feel threatened, they hide inside the burrow and make a sound like a rattlesnake.