NOTE: This is a guest blog post from Teva Harrison of the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
This spring, we sponsored an action on The Petition Site asking you to support work that gives burrowing owls, one of Canada’s most endangered species, habitat in which they can thrive. The response from this site was inspiring. Today, I’m excited to share a good news story from the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area in Saskatchewan.
Old Man on His Back (OMB) is one of the best remaining examples of Canada’s precious mixed grassland habitat. A haven for pronghorns — a species rarely seen by most Canadians — the mixed grassland is also habitat for a number of species at risk, including burrowing owl, swift fox, Sprague’s pipit, loggerhead shrike, greater sage-grouse and northern leopard frog.
It’s been eight years since a burrowing owl was last spotted nesting at OMB. So imagine NCC Stewardship Representative Bob Santo’s surprise this August when he spotted one while moving cattle from one pasture to the next.
Bob saw a small owl fly out of the grass, startled by the herd of cattle. Even with a brief sighting he was pretty sure it was a burrowing owl. “I mentally marked the location where it landed in the grass and came back right after the cattle were moved.” He said, “I walked to within ten metres of where I thought the owl was and noticed it looking at me. Then it squawked and flew back to its burrow. Hopefully it will return next year.”
Photo by Nature Conservancy of Canada.
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