December 15, 2018

Western Burrowing Owl Habitat

I found a neat community park for hiking and then discovered a surprise. The first time I hiked at Zangero Park I noticed the plastic tubing that was partially buried in the ground. There were a lot of these tubes at various intervals. I figured that they must be trying to provide habitat for something, but I was just busy getting my hike in and admiring all the desert plants. The second time I came back to hike I noticed the signs about the owls. When I knew to look for them, I easily discovered the owls peacefully perched near their burrows in broad daylight.

The signage in the park told of the various organizations that have worked together to provide a safe habitat for these owls, which are the only owls in the world that nest underground. They generally take over the abandoned burrows of mammals but the human development in Arizona is displacing them.

A collaborative effort by several organizations is providing a safe haven for the Western Burrowing Owl in Gilbert, Arizona. Zanjero Park is a pleasant environment for hikers, plants, and these owls.

The organizations that have worked together to create this habitat include:

Desert Rivers Audubon Wild at Heart Town of Gilbert, Arizona Arizona Game and Fish Department

Funding provided by a grant from Together Green (a collaboration between the National Audubon Society and Toyota)

I generally focus on individuals or couples when I highlight here on my blog, but I was really impressed what these groups achieved by working together.

I apologize for the grainy photo, but I didn’t want to get close enough to disturb them and I didn’t have my camera. So, I caught this bird with my cell phone and then cropped the shot.