The purpose of this review is to present a brief overview of literature published through 2016 on the Burrowing Owl (BUOW; Athene cunicularia) as an example of how the science of bibliometrics allows us to examine the literature on this species and to determine and display important trends, including gaps in that literature. We conducted various analyses on approximately 1681 BUOW articles to demonstrate the utility of bibliometrics. We also compare the effectiveness of a traditional bibliography versus online databases. The query of even several online databases does not guarantee identifying but a fraction of the total references. Even the most complete database searched for the term “Athene cunicularia” produced only 38% of those of the current World Owl Bibliography Update. Topical areas that seem absent or limited in the published literature include: the genetics of many subspecies of this owl; the population status and trend in intact ecosystems versus human-altered habitats; details on the demography of Burrowing Owls in Central and South America; migratory patterns and overwintering habitat conditions; the dispersal and movement of several metapopulations; successful mitigation strategies; the effectiveness of translocation; the effect of various artificial burrow designs on interior microclimate and owl reproductive success; and a more comprehensive approach to management. This is an ongoing project that will contribute to a larger update of the literature on the owls of the world.
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Vol. 52 • No. 2