Wild Florida Photo - Athene cunicularia

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Athene cunicularia

  var.  floridana


Florida native

Florida Species of Special Concern

The range of these diminutive owls includes much of the Florida peninsula, excluding northeast Florida, with a disjunct population in Okaloosa County. They are most likely to be seen in the southern half of the state. The range also includes the Bahamas.
Some designate the Florida burrowing owls as a subspecies while others consider them a separate population of Athene cunicularia, which are resident from the southwestern United States through central Mexico plus parts of South America. During the breeding season the range extends northward through the western United States into Canada. Winter populations occur in Texas and the coastal areas of Mexico and Central America.
The only owl likely to be seen standing on the ground during the day, they are diurnal, being most active in the morning and evening hours. Standing 19-25 cm (7-10 in.) tall on long legs, they have a wingspan of 55cm (22 in.). Adults are brown(paler outside Florida) with white spots overall. Fledglings have a buffy underside which in the Florida birds are marked with scattered darker bars.
Burrowing owls live in burrows that they excavate themselves or those left by other animals, such as the gopher tortoise. Natural habitats are dry prairies and sandhills, although they make use of any high, sparsely vegetated, sandy ground, such as pastures and vacant lots.
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Athene cunicularia is a member of the Strigidae - Typical Owls family.

For more information on this species, visit the following link:
Florida Natural Areas Inventory page (pdf) for this species

Date record last modified:
Feb 04, 2018