Backyard BirdsUncategorized

Species of Burrowing Owls & Their Ranges

Southern Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia cunicularia – Molina, 1782) – Nominate Race

  • Range: Lowlands of southern Bolivia and southern Brazil south to Tierra del Fuego.
  • Probably includes ssp. A. c. partridgei.

Corrientes Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia partridgei – Olrog, 1976)

  • A. c. partridgei (Olrog, 1976): – Corrientes Province, northeast Argentina.
  • Probably the same race as nominate form A.c. cunicularia (above).
Lesser Burrowing Owl or Guyanan Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia minor - Sipaliwini Savanna, Suriname 6/ 2007

Northern or Western Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea – Bonaparte, 1825)

  • Range: From southern interior British Columbia east to south-central Manitoba in Canada, along the western and eastern edge of Great Plains, south through west-central Mexico to the Central American country of El Salvador. Burrowing Owls were believed to have gone extinct, as there were no sightings of them since 1979. In 1986, this species was reintroduced in to the wild. Formerly also found in Minnesota and Iowa, but now believed to be extirpated from those states.
Western Burrowing Owl, Athene cunicularia hypugaea
Burrowing Owl

Clarion Island Burrowing Owl or Revillagigedo Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia rostrata – Townsend,CH, 1890)

  • Range: Isla Clarión, Revillagigedo Islands of western Mexico.

Florida Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia floridana – Ridgway, 1874)

Lesser Burrowing Owl or Guyanan Burrowing Owl
  • Range: Formerly only found in central and southern Florida, USA; but has expanded its range northward marginally into adjacent Georgia. Also found on the Bahamas; possibly also Cuba and the adjacent Isla de la Juventud (Caribbean).

Haitian or Hispaniolan Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia troglodytes – Wetmore and Swales, 1931)

  • Range: Hispaniola, including Gonve and Beata Islands.

Aruba Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia arubensis – Cory, 1915)

  • Found on the island of Aruba in the southern Caribbean Sea.

Short-winged Burrowing Owl or Margarita Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia brachyptera – Richmond, 1896)

  • Range: Isla Margarita off north Venezuela.
  • Possibly includes ssp. A. c. apurensis (below).

Venezuelan Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia apurensis – Gilliard, 1940)

  • Northwest and central Venezuela.
  • Probably the same race as A. c. brachyptera (above).

Lesser Burrowing Owl or Guyanan Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia minor – Cory, 1918)

  • Range: Southern Guyana and extreme northern Brazil – the Roraima region.

West Colombian Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia tolimae – Stone, 1899)

  • Range: West Colombia.
  • Possibly includes A.c. carrikeri (below)

East Colombian Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia carrikeri – Stone, 1922)

  • Range: East Colombia
  • Probably the same race as A.c. tolimae (above)

West Ecuadorean Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia pichinchae – von Boetticher, 1929)

  • Range: West Ecuador.

(Southwest) Peruvian Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia nanodes – Berlepsch and Stolzmann, 1892)

  • Range: Southwest Peru.
  • Possibly includes ssp. A.c. intermedia (below).

Intermediate Burrowing Owl or West Peruvian Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia intermedia – Cory, 1915)

  • Range: West Peru.
  • Probably the same race as A.c. nanodes (above).

Junin Burrowing Owl or South Andean Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia juninensis – Berlepsch and Stolzmann, 1902)

  • Range: Central Peru south through west Bolivia to northwest Argentina.

Puna Island Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia punensis – Chapman, 1914)

  • Range: Occurs naturally in the Altiplano region around Peruvian-Ecuadorian border (southwest Ecuador and north Peru).
  • Probably the same race as A.c. juninensis (above)

Bolivian Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia boliviana – Kelso, L, 1939)

  • Range: Bolivian altiplano in central South America.

Brazilian Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia grallaria – Temminck, 1822)

  • Range: Central and east Brazil.

Cuban Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia guantanamensis – Garrido, 2001)

  • Range: Cuba and the adjacent Isla de la Juventud.

Antigua Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia amaura – Lawrence, 1878)

  • Possibly extinct. Last seen in 1905. Extinction attributed to predation by the introduced Indian Mongooses (Herpestes javanicus). Only five specimens remain.
  • Formerly found on the islands of Antigua, Redonda, Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Guadalupe Burrowing Owl or Marie Galante Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia guadeloupensis – Ridgway, 1874)

  • Extinct. Last seen in 1898. Considered extinct since 1890.
  • Formerly found on the island Marie Galante, and possibly the nearby Guadeloupe Island.

Bahama Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia providentiae)

  • Fossil subspecies (extinct)

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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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