We studied the diet and prey delivery behavior of Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) during the breeding season in the southeastern Chihuahuan desert, Mexico. The diet of the Burrowing Owl included 8 orders, 13 invertebrate families, and 5 genera of mammals, gastropods, reptiles, and birds. By frequency, invertebrates (Orthoptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, and Hemiptera) were the most common prey, with vertebrates making up a much smaller proportion. However, by biomass, owls consumed mainly vertebrates (56.7%). Among invertebrates, the families Tenebrionidae and Acrididae accounted for 33.2% of the total consumed biomass. Females delivered more prey items than males (55.6% and 44.4%, respectively). Our observations contribute to our knowledge of the ecology of this owl in a region where it has been little studied.
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Vol. 53 • No. 1