Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of BC

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Migration and Breeding Range

Burrowing Owls from Alberta and Saskatchewan will migrate south to southern Texas and Mexico in September/October.

Less is known of the migration route of BC owls:

  • Occasional migratory sightings in Fraser Valley, especially Abbotsford area
  • Occasional sightings also on Vancouver Island (Campbell River area). Migrants have also been found in Washington State (from Port Townsend on the west coast to southeastern regions, Oregon (near Portland) and northern California
  • A few will not migrate and will over winter on the breeding grounds in the Kamloops Thompson Nicola district
  • Migrating owls often take refuge in abandoned pipe or other ground shelter

Many Burrowing Owls that breed in Canada do not return the following year. While many young owls do not survive the first few months (mortality about 40%) little is known about the fate of migratory birds. For BC migrants a few records show that some migrating birds have repeatedly returned to the same winter range but have not returned to the natal breeding grounds in season.

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