The San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park are outdoor destinations and remain open. We continue to monitor the ongoing changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and are following the recommendations provided by our state and local health authorities.


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Panorama of a Safari Park field exhibit with giraffes, water buffalo, and rhinos

Burrowing Owl

baby bear


As we face the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, our team of dedicated specialists continue to care for countless animals and plants that depend on us each and every day.

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Burrowing Owl

Owls live in trees, sleep during the day, and come out at night to hunt, right? Not the burrowing owl! It lives in treeless prairies and desert areas of North and South America. The petite, long-legged burrowing owl has an “earthy” lifestyle and prefers to go about its business during the day.

Instead of making its nest in the hollow of a tree, as most owls do, it finds a home in abandoned prairie dog burrows or rattlesnake dens. The owl uses its long legs for further excavating.

Burrowing owls hunt small rodents, frogs, lizards, insects, and snakes. The owls alert each other with a chattering call when alarmed. It sounds like a rattlesnake, causing the owls to duck below ground into the safety of their burrows!

We are working to restore burrowing owl habitat right here in San Diego County. Spot some burrowing owls along the Condor Trail.

Free! Living Legends - San Diego Zoo 100. Help save wildlife in our newest puzzle game.