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Diet and Prey Delivery of Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) During the Breeding Season in the Chihuahuan Desert, Mexico
- Ayma, Gabriel Ruiz, Kerstupp, Alina Olalla, Velasco, Antonio Guzmán, Rojas, José I. González
- TheJournal of raptor research 2019 v.53 no.1 pp. 75-83
- Acrididae, Athene cunicularia, Gastropoda, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, Tenebrionidae, biomass, birds, breeding season, diet, ecology, females, invertebrates, males, mammals, reptiles, Chihuahuan Desert, Mexico
- We studied the diet and prey delivery behavior of Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) during the breeding season in the southeastern Chihuahuan desert, Mexico. The diet of the Burrowing Owl included 8 orders, 13 invertebrate families, and 5 genera of mammals, gastropods, reptiles, and birds. By frequency, invertebrates (Orthoptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, and Hemiptera) were the most common prey, with vertebrates making up a much smaller proportion. However, by biomass, owls consumed mainly vertebrates (56.7%). Among invertebrates, the families Tenebrionidae and Acrididae accounted for 33.2% of the total consumed biomass. Females delivered more prey items than males (55.6% and 44.4%, respectively). Our observations contribute to our knowledge of the ecology of this owl in a region where it has been little studied.