Argentine Birds

                      por Jorge Martín Spinuzza


Geology Flora and Fauna Environment Ecoregions Why Birds...? Endangered...! Preservation
In Action...! Photo Gallery Drawing Birds Birds List Gallery Guests Birdwatching Interesting Link

Burrowing Owl: Athene cunicularia


    For daytime habits and their wide distribution is undoubtedly the most famous owl. Inhabitant of our common pampas, its range extends across open areas americas, besides being the only owl habits with cavícolas. Its specific name "cunicularia" refers to this custom. 

It measures about 28 cm., Sturdy frame, long legs and huge eyes emplumadas front with photosensitive cells that give a sharp vision day and night.

It's easy to see that a threat or danger to their pupils dilate, as the saying goes
"Open your eyes well", even their white eyebrows rising volume to the excitement.

The female is somewhat smaller than the male which facilitates their entry and exit of the cave and its greater permanence within the nest.

In areas of high land sedimentary, built mainly from his burrow through their legs, whereas with the short beak weeds and roots. Both male and female working in excavation. Sometimes, when taking material back and out of earth to fill companion monitors the entry. You can also occupy caves vizcachas, furry, and other mammals cavadores. Occasionally you can put it in gullies, road cuts, termite, and so on.

The tunnel is just over one meter long, with a platform at the entrance. The mouth is about 18 cm. in diameter. Often incorporating manure in the incubation chamber (heating) and the mouth of the cave.


The incubation chamber is a simple widening of the tunnel. Set of 4 to 6 eggs whites, ovoid.


The nesting season runs from October to December. During the heat was very solicitous sees them, rubbing their beaks or mime each other. The chicks are born at 28 days. Because the female begins to incubate immediately started the position, the chicks are born with a difference of one or two days between them. They are nidícolas.

The female feeds and cares requested, while the male brings food caching at the entrance to the cave at the foot of the female or gives it directly into the beak.

Parents, sometimes accompanied by other adults to constantly monitor the chicks. Given the
possible presence of a predator, emit a strong cry of alarm and quickly enter all the

After two weeks, the chicks are beginning to appear in the cave. His eyes seem "veiled". They are like pompons cream with the back brownish gray that can barely walk.
Sometimes will falter and lies down by the lack of balance. All of them draws attention to everything and fear.
If the notes with dedication could almost discovered in their factions expressions of amazement at the new world.


Gradually increasing their hours go abroad and practicing flutter to strengthen his muscles.
They feel proud when they reach to "fly" 50 cm. and look at what their brothers who observed as saying "Are they saw what I did?".

Just over a month later, giving the first flight since the days the female 45/50 expelled chicks to begin his life in an independent manner. After one year of life and may be duplicated.

They feed on small mammals (tuco-tucos, mice, bats, etc..) Reptile, batrachians, birds and insects. Like all estrigiformes, is very useful for humans to combat pests that damage crops and / or transmit diseases.


Dams the hunt alive and then being killed swallows whole. The parties are not digestible as hair, feathers, bones, etc.. They are Spitting Up in bowling elliptical called "egagrópilas" measuring about four inches long by one of diameter.

Their methods differ depending on hunting prey. On land, with short and quick carrerito, or lanzándose
from a vantage point from which to medium altitude lurks. Also, with great skill takes its claws inns insects in trees with a short and accurate flight.
They generally share the food leading to the cave and sometimes called the companion to share the banquet. It looks sometimes "play" with food, going from peak to peak in that ingest or kept in the den.

In the days of high temperature, is located in the shade beside the trunk of a tree or among the foliage, always near the cave. Take the irrigators for swimming, it has been observed turning around the rain and placed in different positions as if they were taking a real shower hygienic.
Gusta also sunbathing, spreading their wings and reclining on the floor near the mouth of the cave.



Companion of men, often build their cave in populated areas or near homes. While Strigiformes are generally considered "bad luck", this owl, by their diurnal habits is not as opposed as the night.

In our house, and after watching for a long time I daresay that recognize their "neighbors" coming more human with whom shares their habitat. One can approach without inconvenience to one meter away and stay there by his side without any problems. Only disturbed when looking right into the eye or face sudden movements. Various is the reaction to a stranger at home.


This makes the affection and grow while not pets, coexistence and mutual respect make them more a pet, always looking for care and preserve them with great pleasure.

                         Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites                
                 Síguenos en Linkedin Síguenos en YouTube