San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is home to a pair of burrowing owls in an off-view breeding area. However, you can observe these fascinating birds on this live cam—which provides views above ground, as well inside the birds' underground burrow, where eggs are incubated and chicks are raised. It's a wonderful opportunity to learn more about this charismatic species!
Why We Care
The western burrowing owl Athene cunciularia hypugaea in San Diego County is at risk of going locally extinct. To help reverse the decline, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance's Burrowing Owl Recovery Program is working with partners on a comprehensive, multifaceted approach to address burrowing owl ecology and conservation practices in Southern California. These efforts include reengineering habitat to make it suitable for burrowing owl colonization through providing artificial burrows that mimic natural burrows, as well as adding California ground squirrels to the landscape, which dig burrows the owls can “reuse.” Many burrowing owls have been banded for identification purposes, while some owls get tiny solar-powered GPS telemetry “backpacks” so researchers can track them over time.
Visitors with internet access can become citizen scientists and help us classify field photos taken by motion-activated cameras set up outside a burrowing owl den in Otay Mesa, California. The project, called Wildwatch Burrowing Owl, helps researchers suss out the complexities of feeding, mating, and other burrowing owl behaviors with the help of our volunteers.