Burrowing Owl Conservation Campaign

$2,009
20%
Raised toward our $10,000 Goal
28 Donors
40
days left
Project ends on January 15, at 08:00 AM MST
Project Owners

Support the Burrowing Owl Conservation Project

Help us help this species of concern. 

Rapid development in the Phoenix metro area displaces 400+ burrowing owls each year. ASU College of Integrative Sciences and Arts applied biology faculty and students knew they could help this vulnerable owl population — and that the birds could also help our students.

In May 2021 our faculty partnered with Wild At Heart, a raptor rescue organization, and relocated two burrowing owl pairs into a colony of 12 burrows constructed to support breeding and nesting activity at the ASU Polytechnic campus. These owls successfully bred and sustained seven nestlings. Now the fledglings are learning to forage in this habitat — and ASU students and the greater community are learning more about this important species.

Contributing to the survival of these owls is a pressing conservation issue. Burrowing owls are deemed a species of conservation concern in Arizona and protected under the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Your donation will have a direct impact on the owls and support hands-on student learning in courses and research experiences focused on:


  • Habitat restoration of the burrow sites with native shrubs to provide cover and food resources.
  • Non-invasive methods of observing owls to document dietary preference and activity schedules.
  • Exploring when and where owls go to forage around campus.
  • Learning what environmental factors are important to owls during breeding and for the survival of young.. 


The faculty hope to eventually secure funds to establish an endowment that would support a student research assistantship in perpetuity.

The Burrowing Owl Conservation Project is already being used to communicate science and a greater understanding of urban wildlife, in outreach with schools, nonprofits, and the general public in the East Valley. On October 23, 2021, the inaugural "Owl-o-ween" welcomed the public to a meet-and-greet with education burrowing owls and tours of the Polytechnic campus habitat. 

In fall 2021, students in applied biological sciences courses began talking fieldwork observations on the owls and making improvements to the burrow habitat. Read the ASU News story "ASU Owl Burrows Get an Upgrade"


Meet the first owls introduced in May 2021

Owl #1

Tag #09/X-Black

Male

Weight at arrival: 164 g

Relocated from: Baseline Rd & Turner, Buckeye, AZ


Right eye intense yellow and left eye more green. Feather observed hanging off to side. Seen scanning the sky for predators, grooming foot.


Owl #2

Tag #20/X-Black

Female

Weight at arrival: 158 g

Relocated from: Baseline Rd & Turner, Buckeye, AZ


Very vocal, using a range of calls during soft release at burrow site — clicking and screeching. Seen grooming on perch in early morning. Pronounced white beard area. Winked on day of tenting.


Owl #3

Tag #04/D Green

Male

Weight at arrival: 142 g

Relocated from: Baseline Rd & Turner, Buckeye, AZ


Distinguished eyebrows. Observed sitting on a perch early in the morning. White stripe on chest. Short distance between neck fringe and eye fringe. Stayed on perch even with human observer present for long period. Loud voicing at May relocation.


Owl #4

Tag #36/AH-Green ["Marathon"]

Female

Weight at arrival: 150 g

Relocated from: Baseline Rd & Turner, Buckeye, AZ


Stuck very close to burrow entrance during observation. This owl had a leg injury when first recovered by Wild at Heart and required additional treatment and healing time before release, thus her arrival with the name "Marathon."


Levels
Choose a giving level

$15

Gives owls a boost

Pays for seed, mulch, PVC pipe, owl perches. Thank you for your support of burrowing owl conservation!

$36

Funds equipment and supplies

Provides supplies like lithium batteries for wildlife cameras, locks to secure them to posts, binoculars, shovels. Thank you for supporting the many day-to-day expenses in sustaining and improving the owl habitat — and applied learning!

$180

Purchases a wildlife camera

Wildlife cameras help us document owls' foraging habits, diets, and other behavior and activity. They also help assess predator activity near owl burrows. Thanks for helping us learn more about the daily lives of burrowing owls!

$400

Helps with habitat restoration

Help us add plants and other materials to boost the foraging habitat around burrow sites. Your support will ensure burrowing owls are the apex species in this little ecosystem.

$4,500

Funds a student researcher

Allows a student to give focused attention to the burrowing owl project for one semester as a research assistant. Thank you for advancing the conservation community's knowledge of burrowing owls, an under-studied species!

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