By Lauren Kraft, Public Relations Coordinator
Seven pairs of wide-set eyes blink excitedly, as the chicks huddle together awaiting their father’s return with dinner.
The new Burrowing owl parents are extra busy this month tending to the seven chicks that hatched in the beginning of April. They are getting triple their daily diet to feed all their babies and are staying close to the nest box. Zoo keepers checked in on the nest box a few weeks after they first noticed the male owl acting extra protective of the nest, and the keepers were excited to see seven chicks peering up at them. All seven chicks are growing fast and are doing well.
The Burrowing owls’ aviary is part of the Zoo’s Backyard, a California native garden which shines a spotlight on the rich biodiversity that exists in our local habitats. Burrowing owls are funny little creatures with long legs and big eyes that prefer to stand around on the ground and hunt at dawn and dusk. The burrowing owl population is considered at risk in California because of habitat degradation and destruction.
The three adult Burrowing owls where brought to Sacramento Zoo due to injuries that prohibit them from being reintroduced in the wild. The seven chicks will soon be running all around their aviary this May.