Our offices are currently closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Staff members are working from home and available by email. Please see our Staff Directory for a list of email addresses.
For updates about State of Nevada office closures, please visit http://nv.gov/.

Athene cunicularia hypugaea

Scientific Name:Athene cunicularia hypugaea
Common name:Western Burrowing Owl
Rank and Status   
Global Rank:G4T4 Native Status:Native
Subnational (State) Rank:S3B Endemic:No
US ESA Status:None Sand Dunes:No
NNHP Tracking Status:Watch List Wetland:No
Other Agency Status Status Last Updated Status Comments
Bureau of Land Management - Nevada Sensitive BLM Nevada Sensitive Species List dated 2017-10-01
Nevada Wildlife Action Plan - 2012 Species of Conservation Priority
Nevada Wildlife Action Plan - 2005 Species of Conservation Priority
Nevada Partners in Flight Priority Bird Species
CCVI Score Presumed Stable Conf. VH.
Distribution (NV Counties)

Status: Predicted or probable

Carson City Esmeralda Lincoln Nye
Churchill Eureka Lyon Storey
Douglas Lander Mineral White Pine

Status: Confident or certain

Clark Humboldt Pershing Washoe
Summary Occurrence Data
Occurrence Count:55
Total Observed Area (hectares):Not Available
Maximum Known Elevation (m):1902
Minimum Known Elevation (m):501
Athene cunicularia hypugaea data at NatureServe
Athene cunicularia hypugaea photos and data at Encyclopedia of Life
Character Abstract
Identification Comments:
Subspecies Comments:
Food Habits:Feeds primarily on large insects (especially in warmer months) and rodents; sometimes eats birds and amphibians. Catches prey in flight or drops to ground.
Phenology Comments:
Reproduction Comments:
Migration Mobility:
Habitat Comments:Optimum habitat typified by short vegetation and presence of fresh small mammal burrows (Zarn 1974). Found in open grasslands, sagebrush, and sagebrush-steppe, sometimes in open areas such as vacant lots near human habitation (e.g., campuses, airports, golf courses, perimeter of agricultural fields, banks of irrigation canals). Spends much time on the ground or on low perches such as fence posts or dirt mounds. Nests and roosts in abandoned burrow dug by mammal (especially ground squirrel in NV (Citellus spp.), badger (Taxidea taxus), fox, tortoise. Rarely excavates own burrow, preferring to enlarge or modify existing burrow. Uses satellite burrows around nest burrows, moving chicks at 10-14 days presumably to reduce risk of predation. Pattern of burrow use influenced by availability, soil, dynamics of [small mammal] population, and other owls (Desmond and Savidge 1998).
Ecology comments:In Nevada, Burrowing Owls occur sporadically in valley bottoms, sometimes in loose colonies (Hall et al. 2003, Paige and Ritter 1999).
Version Date:11/03/1999 - 12:00am

Not Available