In some areas, Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) occur in human-altered, urbanized environments. However, their use of these anthropogenic land-cover types during nighttime is not well understood. We studied nocturnal and crepuscular space-use of eight juvenile Burrowing Owls in urban, greenspace, and agriculture dominated landscapes during 2012 and 2013 in Doña Ana County, New Mexico. For each owl, we obtained an average of 22 (range 14–37) nighttime telemetry fixes covering a period of 1–8.5 wk post-fledging. The juvenile Burrowing Owls avoided urban cover types and spent more time in agriculture and greenspace. In agricultural areas, owls used canals, weedy ditches, and associated farm roads, whereas in greenspace owls used city parks, golf courses, and patches of native habitat. Juvenile owls in this study were not observed to move large distances and on average most owls (n = 5) remained within 500 m of their roost burrow, with one owl traveling up to 743 m from its roost site. Conservation efforts for Burrowing Owls within human-altered environments should focus on the protection of nest and roost burrows near important foraging areas.
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Vol. 52 • No. 2