As their name suggests, burrowing owls live underground—a vacant prairie dog hole is a cool alternative (around 59F or 15C) to the extreme heat above ground. They eat small rodents, insects, amphibians, and reptiles, often swooping down catching them from flight.
But burrowing owls also catch with bait left around their nest holes. Parents are known to attract insects with Bison droppings — an insect shelter from the heat — providing delicious, nutrient bugs for hungry two-week old owls.
Prairie dogs, bison, and insects — all important animals to the burrowing owl‘s survival in the rangelands and wide open landscapes of North and South America. Read more about them at SmithsonianMag.com.