Tags: burrowing | owl | new mexico | killed

Burrowing Owl: New Mexico Adds Protection After 1 Killed

Image: Burrowing Owl: New Mexico Adds Protection After 1 Killed
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By    |   Monday, 11 Jul 2016 09:02 AM

Burrowing owls in New Mexico are getting extra protection after one of the rare birds was found dead in the Caja de Rio plateau area last month, apparently killed by some kind of flying shrapnel, reported the Santa Fe New Mexican.

The dead owl was found in late June with its feathers splayed wide and appeared to have been hit while flying. Shrapnel was found embedded in the bird's left wing and shoulder blade and it had one leg missing.

The burrowing owl is protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, according to the Burrowing Owls Conservation Network. The bird is listed as endangered in Canada and threatened in Mexico.

Burrowing owls are listed as endangered in Minnesota, threatened in Colorado, and a species of concern in Arizona, California, Florida, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

"The (Bureau of Land Management) takes incidents like this very seriously," Donna Hummel, a spokeswoman for the bureau's Santa Fe office told the New Mexican, noting that more enforcement officers have been put on patrol in the Caja del Rio area.

"There are lots of eyes and ears and people that care about wildlife here in New Mexico. And (the shooter's) illegal actions are not going to go unnoticed," Hummel added.

Local Santa Fe bird photographer Julie Luetzelschwab wrote she first noticed the missing bird in late June after photographing a pair of burrowing owls on June 27. Luetzelschwab said she became concerned after going to the same place she spotted them three days later and only found one.

The Albuquerque Journal reported in 2011 that the population of nesting burrowing owls in the Santa Fe area had tumbled from 20 pairs in 2008 to four pairs, blaming the city's decision of removing prairie dogs from the area for the drop in population.

Burrowing owls either dig their own nests or use the abandoned burrows of prairie dogs, armadillos, skunks, or pocket gophers, according to the National Wildlife Federation.

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Burrowing owls in New Mexico are getting extra protection after one of the rare birds was found dead in the Caja de Rio plateau area last month, apparently killed by some kind of flying shrapnel.
burrowing, owl, new mexico, killed
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2016-02-11
Monday, 11 Jul 2016 09:02 AM
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