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Bringing Back the Grassland Birds

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  • November 30, 2011
  • 11:30 am
Bringing Back the Grassland Birds
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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.”

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Photo by Nature Conservancy of Canada.

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3:18AM PDT on May 27, 2012


9:27PM PDT on May 13, 2012

Great news! We're hoping burrowing owls in America make the same comeback. Please help us reach this goal by signing our petition:

Thank you so much!

5:56AM PST on Jan 31, 2012

thanks for sharing the great news! I hope they continue to thrive!

6:37PM PST on Dec 3, 2011

Thanks for sharing the good news.

6:32PM PST on Dec 3, 2011

Fantastic news. Good work, ensuring that the following generations will enjoy the fruits of your labours.

10:21AM PST on Dec 2, 2011

Thank you for the article...

8:19AM PST on Dec 2, 2011

Great animal news!

3:49AM PST on Dec 2, 2011

The OMB must be a wonderful and rewarding place to work and be. I know I would like it better than this apartment in the city. Thanks for the article. It creates envy in me.

3:34AM PST on Dec 2, 2011

Amazing what can happen with observation, intelligence and compassion.

9:37PM PST on Dec 1, 2011

Wonderful article.

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