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Identity of Two Small Owls?


Joe Writes:

-----Original Message-----
From: Joe
Subject: Two Owls

Dear Chuck, we have had 2 small owls staying at our house in Miami Beach for about 5 weeks. Our house is on a golf course so we see lots of birds. Like normal owls they leave in the evening and come back in the morning and during the day perch on a cable under the eaves of the house.

They are small, grey with brown markings, but I don't notice any ears. Do you have any idea what owls they are and is this unusual to perch this way without a nest??


PS I found your name while researching on the web

Our Reply:


The "Burrowing Owl" is only Florida resident Owl that comes close to the description you provided. Also known as the Ground or Howdy Owl. "Howdy" because of its typical head bobbing motion.


The Burrowing Owl nests in holes in the ground 1 to 3 feet deep, they will use burrows excavated by other animals.

They are Long-legged, short tailed with a flat head. No apparent ears. Only small owl likely to be seen perched in the open during daylight. An older adult is likely to be slightly darker in coloration.

Some years ago Burrowing Owls were a nuisance at both Miami International and Ft. Lauderdale International Airports.

I found a web page that has a photo and a description of the Burrowing Owl. It is similar to the variety found only in Florida. Burrowing Owl

There is also a possibility that what you have are not Burrowing Owls, but another variety not found in the wild in Florida. Perhaps resident escapees from a pet shop or owner.

To see picture of the Burrowing Owl and others, visit the Nature section of your local Barns & Noble or other bookstore, and look up the "Burrowing Owl" in a Birding Field guide. If it is not a Burrowing Owl, compare what you have with the other Owl descriptions and pictures.

For a look at our recommendations for Birding Field Guides see the following web page: Recommended book list

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