By Gary Bogue
Thursday, August 11th, 2011 at 6:03 am in Burrowing owls.
Burrowing owls are struggling as development advances. Here is a photo of an unfortunate burrowing owl that has an eye injury. I would love to catch this character and take her to the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek. Perhaps if it becomes weak enough to catch I may try.
Dave Harper, Oakley, California
I agree on the “struggling” burrowing owls. They need open space areas, filled with unused ground squirrel burrows where they like to live. Only problem is … the County Agriculture Dept. folks don’t like ground squirrels, or the other smaller rodents that burrowing owls like to prey on, so they usually poison them … and we humans like to build things in those open spaces. PRESTO! No places for the burrowing owls to live or find food.
In the process of swooping down to catch rodents, birds of prey sometimes crash into things. That’s probably how this little burrowing owl injured its eye. Hopefully it will heal, otherwise, the use of only one eye can interfere with the owl’s ability to perceive depth when it is diving after its prey, causing more crashing problems. Please keep an eye on it. If it has trouble catching food and weakens, do try to catch it and take it to the museum, where their wildlife veterinarian can check it out, patch it up and hopefully return it to the wild. Thanks for caring. /Gary