Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia


Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Average mass 150 g

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 43,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 39,100,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing estimated -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 4.6 - - -

Trend justification: This species has undergone a small or statistically insignificant decrease over the last 40 years in North America (data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007). Note, however, that these surveys cover less than 50% of the species's range in North America.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Antigua and Barbuda N Extinct
Argentina N Extant
Aruba (to Netherlands) N Extant
Bahamas N Extant
Belize N Extant
Bolivia N Extant
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) N Extant
Brazil N Extant
Canada N Extant Yes
Chile N Extant
Colombia N Extant
Costa Rica V Extant
Cuba N Extant
Curaçao (to Netherlands) N Extant
Dominican Republic N Extant
Ecuador N Extant
El Salvador N Extant
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) V Extant
Guadeloupe (to France) N Extinct
Guatemala N Extant
Guyana N Extant
Haiti N Extant
Honduras N Extant
Mexico N Extant
Panama V Extant
Paraguay N Extant
Peru N Extant
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) N Extant
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands V Extant
St Kitts and Nevis N Possibly Extinct
Suriname N Extant Yes
Trinidad and Tobago N Extant
Uruguay N Extant Yes
USA N Extant Yes
Venezuela N Extant

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Bahamas Great Inagua
Bahamas Grog Pond
Canada Lake Newell and Kitsim Reservoir
Canada McGregor Lake and Travers Reservoir
Canada Chappice Lake
Canada White Lake Area
Canada Douglas Lake Plateau
Canada Osoyoos Oxbows
Canada Oak Lake/Plum Lakes Area
Canada Whitewater Lake
Canada Southwestern Manitoba Mixed-Grass Prairie
Canada Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area
Canada Colgate
Canada Big Muddy Lake (and surroundings)
Canada Fife Lake
Canada Grasslands National Park (east)
Canada Grasslands National Park (west)
Canada Chaplin Lake
Canada Govenlock-Nashlyn-Battle Creek Grasslands
Canada Maple Creek Grasslands
Canada Bigstick Lake Plain
Canada Cabri Area
Canada Kindersley-Elna
Bahamas Lee Stocking Island
Bahamas Stafford Creek to Andros Town
Argentina Pastizales de La Travesía y Buena Esperanza
Argentina Parque Nacional Lihue Calel
Aruba (to Netherlands) Tierra del Sol Salina
Bahamas Cat Island Wetlands
Argentina Parque Nacional Chaco
Argentina Reserva El Bagual
Argentina Estancia Puerto Valle
Argentina Estancia San Juan Poriahú
Argentina Estero Valenzuela
Argentina Cuenca del río Aguapey
Argentina Loma Alta
Argentina Parque Nacional Mburucuyá
Argentina Estancia Mora Cué y alrededores
Argentina Rincón del Socorro-Iberá
Argentina Lomada de San Alonso
Argentina Parque Nacional El Palmar
Argentina Perdices
Argentina Nandubaysal-El Potrero
Argentina Pastizales de Ibicuy
Argentina Parque Nacional Pre-Delta
Argentina Ceibas
Argentina Cuña boscosa de Santa Fe
Argentina Jaaukanigás
Argentina Bajos Submeridionales
Argentina Reserva Provincial de Usos Múltiples Federico Wildermuth
Argentina San Javier
Argentina Vuelta de Obligado
Argentina Barrancas de Baradero
Argentina Bahía Samborombón
Argentina Reserva Natural Otamendi, Reserva Provincial Río Lujan y alrededores
Argentina Reserva Natural Punta Lara
Argentina Parque Costero del Sur
Argentina Laguna de Pradere
Argentina Albufera de Mar Chiquita
Argentina Reserva Provincial Laguna Salada Grande
Argentina Sierras Australes de Buenos Aires
Argentina Villa Iris, Chasicó, Napostá
Argentina Caldenal del Sudoeste de Buenos Aires
Argentina Estepas arbustivas del Sur de Buenos Aires
Argentina Reserva Campos del Tuyú, Estancia El Palenque y Los Ingleses
Argentina Cuenca del Río Salado
Argentina Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur
Argentina Lagunas Encadenadas del Oeste de la Provincia de Buenos Aires
Brazil São Francisco Xavier / Monte Verde
Colombia El Encanto de Guanapalo

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable breeding
Desert Hot suitable breeding
Desert Hot suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate major breeding
Savanna Dry suitable breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude suitable breeding
Altitude 0 - 4000 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Athene cunicularia. Downloaded from on 27/11/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/11/2022.