Intrigued by the Burrowing Owls that first appeared in our April 2012 Hideaway Report article, “Canada’s Scenic Okanagan Valley,” we wanted to find out more about these odd- yet adorable-looking birds.
About the size of an average American robin, Burrowing Owls are characterized by spotted brown and white feathers and striking yellow eyes framed by tufted white eyebrows.
These caricature-like creatures can be found in small numbers in both North and South America, primarily in open, dry areas with low vegetation. They typically nest and roost in burrows, such as those excavated by prairie dogs. Unlike most owls, they are most active during the day, although they still do most of their hunting at night. Another notable trait: Young owls, or owlets, are armed with the unique ability to mimic the sound of a rattlesnake when in danger.
Once thriving in the region of British Columbia where The Guest House at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery is located (hence the name), Burrowing Owls are now listed as an endangered species in Canada. The owls have suffered a decrease in population over the past 30 years because of habitat destruction and degradation from land development.
As a countermeasure to their decline, Burrowing Owl Estate Winery asks patrons to donate $2 per wine tasting to the cause. Proceeds go to the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of B.C. for the captive release program and to The South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls.
Want to know more about Burrowing Owls and B.C’s Okanagan Valley?
- Those staying at The Guest House at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery may still have the chance to catch a glimpse of the rare birds in their native habitats.
- Read Andrew Harper’s review of the property from the April Hideaway Report
- View the full article, “Canada’s Scenic Okanagan Valley.”
- Learn more about the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society here.
Watch the video below, which captures the Burrowing Owl: