Establishment of burrowing owl point-count routes within lands administered by BLM Shoshone Field Office and results of 2005 breeding season surveys

Publication Type:



Idaho Bureau of Land Management, Shoshone Field Office, p.28 + appendix (2005)

Call Number:



Athene cunicularia, Burrowing Owl


This report results from a study to 1) determine distribution and abundance of burrowing owls within BLM lands administered by the Shoshone Field Office and 2) help distinguish between the possible explanations for the currently low number of re-occupied sites initially located by Rich (1985). The authors established 32 point-count survey routes for burrowing owls and surveyed for the owls using a standardized listening and call broadcast protocol (Conway and Simon 2003). Each route included 10 survey points separated by 0.8 km (0.5 mi) and was surveyed three times during the 2005 breeding season. Forty-two adult burrowing owls (1.3 ± 0.4 [SE] per route) and a small number of juvenile owls were detected during point counts (0.18 burrowing owls/km of survey route). Twelve of 32 routes (37.5%) contained burrowing owls. There were 11 nests in the vicinity of the point-count routes and six nests found elsewhere. Thus, the public lands administered by BLM Shoshone Field Office support burrowing owls that are nesting in small numbers relative to those reported by Rich (1985), although the latter study also included nests on private lands. Recommendations for burrowing owl management include repeating surveys to document current trends in populations within the study (e.g., Rich [1984] suggests annual surveys of both historical nesting sites whether occupied in the previous year or not and annual monitoring of areas not known to harbor owls), protecting existing nest sites where possible and mitigating their loss with artificial burrows, and augmenting suitable nesting habitat with artificial burrows in an attempt to increase numbers of nesting burrowing owls. [Included in our files are location data.]



[Note, for CSE Style: Authors were with Department of Biology and Raptor Research Center, Boise State University. Report was prepared for Shoshone Field Office, USDI Bureau of Land Management. (So I assume that FO or BLM is "the publisher.")]

[Note: filed with our copy of this report are tables with location data.]