Burrowing Owl numbers decline after wet summer
If they made tiny water wings for birds, the burrowing owls in Saskatchewan would probably like some.
The wet summer this year has taken burrowing owl numbers even lower in the province.
"When we have wet summers, it's not very good for the burrowing owls. They don't do very well. Their burrows will be flooded by the water," said Lacey Weekes, a habitat stewardship coordinator for Nature Saskatchewan's Operation Burrowing Owl.
Weekes said they won't know the full impact of this summer's rain until their final count at the end of this month. However, they have noticed a decline so far.
"The numbers are slightly down due to some of the calls we've gotten and being out on the roads and spotting burrowing owls."
This is on top of a decline every year for the past three years.
She said there are only about 800 pairs of the birds left in Canada, with half of those in Saskatchewan.
If you see a burrowing owl or have one on your land, give Nature Saskatchewan's "Hoot" line a call at 1-800-667-HOOT (4668), said Weekes.
"If you have a species-at-risk on your land, you're doing something right. Bascially keep doing what you're doing. We want to protect the habitat, so not cultivating grassland (around the owl)."
Landowners with owls on their land may also qualify for cost-sharing opportunities including wildlife-friendly fencing, watering sites and planting native prairie grass.
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