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Robert Bateman (Prints)

Burrowing Owl (Print)

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Offset Paper; Edition Size 950
9.5" x 14.375" / 22.86cm x 35.56cm
Unframed (US Dollar): $75.00

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“The burrowing owl is in a class by itself among the North American owls. It is diurnal,
sometimes colonial, and it nests underground. These owls always live in open country
and will use the abandoned burrows of prairie dogs, fox, skunk or badger. When these
are not available, if the soil is soft enough, the owls will dig their own burrow. They have
very long legs, perhaps an adaptation for hunting in the tall grass and among other
prairie plants.

I have seen a number of them standing at the mouth of the burrow, bobbing and
nodding. About 100 years ago, S.N. Rhoads visited a colony in Florida. It was three
miles long and contained several hundred pairs. In the late 20th century, housing
developments are being built on top of the colonies. If the humans are sensitive,
the owls can survive, but dogs and cats make this co-existence impossible.

Throughout most of it’s range , agricultural chemicals and monocultures have
doomed the owls. Since they do much of their hunting by flying at low levels,
the increasing number of automobiles have taken an enormous toll, especially
on juveniles. Sadly, this wonderful owl is declining almost everywhere to the
point of extinction.”