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051 BALANCING ACT - BURROWING OWL
Burrowing owl- Buffalo Gap National Grasslands, South Dakota. Just before sundown on the Conata Basin, a male burrowing owl stretches outside its nest burrow in a prairie dog town. Burrowing owls arrive in the northern plains in late April and early May to establish nest burrows primarily in abandoned prairie dog holes or badger burrows. Typically, the female lays a clutch of 6-11 eggs, which she will incubate underground for nearly a month. During that time, the male stands close guard providing food and protection for his mate. Just nine inches high, burrowing owls are aggressive hunters, feeding on a diversity of items including crickets, mice, small birds and snakes.