The burrowing owl is a small, long-legged owl found throughout open landscapes of North and South America in grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, deserts, or any other open dry area with low vegetation. As the name suggests, they nest and roost in burrows such as abandoned rodent holes and prairie dog colonies. Their brown mottled feathers help them blend in to the surrounding prairie where they dine on insects, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and other birds, depending on the season and food availability.
Populations of burrowing owls are declining in some areas due to pesticide use, poisoning of prairie dog colonies, and automobile collisions. Conservation concerns differ by region, and in various states they are listed as endangered, threatened, or as a species of concern. They also are of conservation concern in Canada and Mexico.