We studied nest success, burrow longevity, and rates of burrow reuse for a migratory population of Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) in north central Oregon from 1995 to 1997. Nest success varied annually from 50% to 67%. Principal causes of nest failure were desertion (26%) and depredation by badgers (Taxidea taxus; 13%). Reuse of available nest and satellite burrows in subsequent years was 87% in 1996 and 57% in 1997. Reuse was highest at burrows in sandy soils, which may indicate that nest-site availability is a limiting factor in sandier soil types. Trampling by livestock resulted in the loss of 24% of all burrows between one season and the next, and natural erosion resulted in closure of 17%. Both causes of burrow failure occurred more frequently in soils with a sand component due to their friable nature. We recommend that habitat used by livestock be evaluated for use by Burrowing Owls, that occupied areas be managed to minimize destruction of burrows by livestock, and that predator-control efforts be revised to exclude mortality of badgers.
Holmes, Aaron L.; Green, Gregory A.; Morgan, Russell L.; and Livezey, Kent B.
"Burrowing Owl nest success and burrow longevity in north central Oregon,"
Western North American Naturalist: Vol. 63
, Article 11.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/wnan/vol63/iss2/11