Distribution in North America

Distribution in North America

Burrowing Owl Distribution

Burrowing owls inhabit prairie grasslands, steppes, deserts and arid areas throughout western North America.

Their distribution in North America has decreased considerably in the past few decades, especially in the northern and eastern portions of their range.

Burrowing owls are no longer found in the wild in Manitoba (they have been extirpated from the province), and their populations continue to decline in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Through an extensive breed and release program, Burrowing Owls have been reintroduced into the interior of British Columbia thanks to the hard work and dedication of Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of BC.

Burrowing owls don't dig their own burrows, so they have to rely on other animals to do it for them. Throughout much of their range in the United States, the owls nest in prairie dog towns. In Canada, prairie dogs are only found in and around Grasslands National Park in the southwest corner of Saskatchewan. In the rest of their range in Canada and the U.S., the owls use the abandoned burrows of animals such as ground squirrels (also called gophers) and badgers as nests.