The effect of burrow site use on the reproductive success of a partially migratory population of western burrowing owls

  • Published source details Botelho E.S. & Arrowood P.C. (1998) The effect of burrow site use on the reproductive success of a partially migratory population of western burrowing owls. Journal of Raptor Research, 32, 233-240.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide artificial nesting sites for owls

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Provide artificial nesting sites for owls

    A replicated, controlled trial in 1993-5 in arid shrubland in New Mexico, USA (Botelho & Arrowood 1998), found that burrowing owls Athene cunicularia (formerly Speoty cunicularia) nesting in artificial burrows produced significantly more nestlings, but significantly fewer fledglings than pairs in natural burrows (3.5 nestlings/pair and 1.5 fledglings/pair for eight pairs in artificial burrows vs. 2.2 nestlings/pair and 1.9 fledglings/pair for 59 natural burrows). Only 12 of 28 nestlings (43%) in artificial nests survived to fledging, with most being predated or cannibalised. Artificial burrows were constructed from a 19 l plastic bucket buried and connected to the surface with 5 m of 10 cm diameter PVC pipes. Both bucket and pipes had holes drilled in to ensure drainage.


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