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Photo: Julie Larsen Maher/Queens Zoo
Photo: Julie Larsen Maher/Queens Zoo

New cute feathery residents have arrived at the Queens Zoo.

Three burrowing owl owlets hatched at the Wildlife Conservation Society of the Queens Zoo located at 53-51 111th St. in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. These owlets (Athene cunicularia)  hatched sometime between late May and early June and came out of their burrows in mid-June, according to the zoo.

In the beginning of May, the handlers introduced several new males to the group of female owls. Two of them quickly paired off and disappeared into the burrow, wrote The New York Times.

“They got to work, and things worked out well, at least for that pair,” Scott Silver, director of the Queens Zoo told the Times.

The Queens Zoo’s burrowing exhibit created last year now includes nine owls as well as several thick-billed parrots and roadrunners.

Burrowing owls usually nest in burrows that are dug by ground-dwelling animals but sometimes make their own. Female owls lay eggs into these burrows and incubate them for 30 days while the male will bring them food. As soon as these eggs hatch, the owlets are fed by the parents for up to seven weeks.

Eventually, the owlets will travel out of their nests. Most owls are nocturnal, but that’s not the case of burrowing owls. They are active during the day and do most of their hunting in the evening. Their sharp vision is one of the most important characteristics that these owls possess.

Burrowing owls live in areas with low vegetation. In Canada and the western United States, the population of these owls is decreasing due to habitat loss and prairie dogs. However, deforestation is causing populations to increase in parts of Central and South America.

If you would like to make a donation to Wildlife Conservation Society, you can do so at their website.

Julie Larsen Maher_0348_Burrowing Owl and Owlet_QZ_06 27 16_hr




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