BURROWING OWL

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Burrowing Owl, Southeast Farallon


BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) [Speotyto] is a small, long-legged owl found throughout open landscapes of North and South America. Burrowing owls can be found in grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, deserts, or any other open dry area with low vegetation. They are known to breed on Santa Cruz Island.

On Southeast Farallon, the ashy storm-petrel, a pigeon-sized light-grey bird with a white stripe across its wings, is listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Petrel numbers are under threat from burrowing owls, which have come to the island in increasing numbers to feed on the mice. When mice are scarce (which may happen in off-breeding seasons), the burrowing owls end up eating the ashy storm-petrel chicks.


1907 San Clemente Island:Speotyto cunicularia hypogaea. Burrowing Owl. The small rocky ravines extending halfway up the hillsides from the shore of the northeast coast, seemed to be the favorite hiding places of the Burrowing Owls during the day. The specimens secured differ very slightly, or not at all, from those of the mainland coast district. Resident. ” [“Visits were made to Clemente in January, February, March, April and October, 1907.”]
Linton, C. B. Notes from San Clemente Island The Condor 10:82-86, March 1908


1907 Santa Cruz Island:Speotyto cunicularia hypogaea. Burrowing Owl. Fairly common in suitable localities. Specimens secured average slightly paler than those taken in the vicinity of Los Angeles. Measurements also differ slightly. ” [“At 11:30 p.m., November 19, 1907, my father (H. Linton), Mr. George Willett, and myself left San Pedro harbor in a dilapidated fishing smack and in company with a crawfisherman, one “Cold-foot” Jorgensen. We arrived off the south end of Santa Cruz Island at 10:30 the following day during a stiff norwester. For various reasons we were unable to make camp until the 22nd. It may not be amiss to state here that twice during the blow we were nearly wrecked: once while at anchor in Potatoe Harbor, a broken anchor allowing the boat to drift within the breaker line and nearly onto the rocks. In this instance the timely arrival of Willett and H. Linton in a small boat, saved the day, and incidentally the fishing smack. At another time (the engine having broken down) we were blown nearly onto the rocks of Anacapa Island; but with father at the wheel and Willett and I on the “sheet” we managed to hold her off. I mention the foregoing, and the many sleepless nights spent on the rocky shores, “running” the surf several times each day (with attendant duckings), etc., merely as a warning to those who seem inclined to believe a field naturalist’s life “strewn with roses”. (Its ’ generally strewn with cacti!)”]
Linton, C. B. Notes from Santa Cruz Island] The Condor 10(3):124-129, May 1908


1927 Santa Barbara Island:Speotyto cunicularia. Burrowing Owl. Carriger and DeGroot saw two birds on the southern part of the upland slope.” [“Through the generosity of Mr. Silsby M. Spalding who placed at our disposal his splendid cruiser Padariva I the writer accompanied by H. W. Carriger, Dudley DeGroot and 0. W. Howard was enabled to spend the period from March 25 to April 5, 1927, inclusive, among the Channel Islands off the coast of southern California.”]
Pemberton, J. R. Additions to the known avifauna of the Santa Barbara Islands The Condor 30(2):144-148, March-April 1928


1927 Santa Rosa Island:Speotyto cunicularia hypugaea. Burrowing Owl. None of these birds was seen by us  [Dudley DeGroot, J. R. Pemberton, H. W. Carriger & O. W. Howard], but the species is included here because of an accurate description of it which was given by the ranch boys. The birds have been recorded from all the other islands and should be present here. The opportunity did not present itself for any of us to accompany the boys to the place where these owls lived.”
Pemberton, J. R. Additions to the known avifauna of the Santa Barbara Islands The Condor 30(2):144-148, March-April 1928




BAJA CALIFORNIA ISLANDS



SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
San Clemente Island C. H. Townsend NMNH January 25, 1889 USNM-117628 Athene cunicularia Birds
San Clemente Island C. H. Townsend NMNH January 25, 1889 USNM-117629 Athene cunicularia Birds
San Clemente Island J. E. Law NMNH March 24, 1918 DMNH-6174 Athene cunicularia Birds
San Clemente Island C. B. Linton MVZ November 14, 1908 1907 MVZ-57664 Melospiza melodia clementae Birds
San Clemente Island C. B. Linton MCZ November 18, 1908 MCZ-180945 Speotyto cunicularia hypugaea Birds
San Clemente Island C. B. Linton MCZ December 19, 1908 MCZ-316596 Speotyto cunicularia hypugaea Birds


SAN MIGUEL ISLAND
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
San Miguel Island W. P. Trowbridge NMNH 1856 USNM-20382 Speotyto cunicularia Birds
San Miguel Island Chester Lamb MVZ October 1, 1927 MVZ-51466 Athene cunicularia hypugaea Birds


SAN NICOLAS ISLAND
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
San Nicolas Island C. B. Linton MCZ January 1, 1908 MCZ-57668 Speotyto cunicularia hypugaea Birds
San Nicolas Island C. B. Linton MCZ January 5, 1909 MCZ-316597 Speotyto cunicularia hypugaea Birds


SANTA BARBARA ISLAND
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Catalina Island Frank Stephens SDNHM March 25, 1893 SDNHM-402 Athene cunicularia hypugaea Birds
Santa Catalina Island Irwin D. Nokes WFVZ February 7, 1915 WFVZ-2478 Athene cunicularia Birds


SANTA CRUZ ISLAND
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Rosa Island Alden H. Miller MVZ March 13, 1950 MVZ-120095 Athene cunicularia hypugaea Birds



BAJA CALIFORNIA ISLANDS


ISLA GUADALUPE
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 7, 1906 AMNH-99872 Athene cunicularia hypugaea Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH May 8, 1906 AMNH-99873 Athene cunicularia hypugaea Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH June 13, 1906 AMNH-99875 Athene cunicularia hypugaea Birds
Isla Guadalupe Wilmot W. Brown AMNH June 16, 1906 AMNH-99874 Athene cunicularia hypugaea Birds
Isla Guadalupe R. H. Beck AMNH July 25, 1912 AMNH-754184 Athene cunicularia hypugaea Birds
Isla Guadalupe R. H. Beck AMNH July 25, 1912 AMNH-754185 Athene cunicularia hypugaea Birds
Isla Guadalupe R. H. Beck AMNH July 25, 1912 AMNH-754186 Athene cunicularia hypugaea Birds
Isla Guadalupe R. H. Beck AMNH August 6, 1912 AMNH-754184 Athene cunicularia hypugaea Birds
Isla Guadalupe R. H. Beck AMNH August 23, 1912 AMNH-754185 Athene cunicularia hypugaea Birds
Isla Guadalupe R. H. Beck AMNH August 24, 1912 AMNH-754186 Athene cunicularia hypugaea Birds



ISLA TODOS SANTOS
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Isla Todos Santos C. C. Lamb MVZ January 16, 1927 MVZ-49818 Athene cunicularia hypugaea Birds