Western Burrowing Owl Workshop 2013-2

Western Burrowing Owl Workshop 2013-2 program image

On September 5, 2013 Lynne Trulio, Ph.D.l presented a workshop on the biology and conservation of the Burrowing Owl, (Athene cunicularia).  Dr. Trulio's research in the South Bay has focused on the ecology and recovery of the Burrowing Owl.


Thursday, September 5, 2013
8:30 AM - 3:00 AM
Michaels at Shoreline
Mountain View
Lunch will be provided

COST: $250.00
Payable by check to Elkhorn Slough Foundation
Payable by credit card (online)


Instructor Information

Dr. Lynne Trulio
Department Chair, Environmental Studies
San Jose State


Virginia Guhin



See also: Burrowing Owl, Maintaining Biodiversity

On September 5, 2013, Lynne Trulio, Ph.D. presented a workshop on the biology and conservation of the Western Burrowing Owl, (Athene cunicularia hypugaea).  Dr. Trulio's research in the South San Francisco Bay region has focused on the ecology and recovery of the Burrowing Owl. She has published a variety of papers on the effects of human impact on the species, as well as the general ecology and management for the species.

This was an excellent opportunity to learn about the natural history, habitat needs, effective preservation, and implementation of agency requirements with respect to burrowing owls.  Workshop information will be useful for gaining basic knowledge of the species, conservation planning, meeting CEQA and other regulatory requirements, and for outreach to the public.


Workshop Format:

The workshop consiseds of a daytime classroom session, Thursday, September 5, 8:30am-3:00pm and enrollment in one of two field training sessions, either Thursday, September 5, 4:00p.m.-8:00p.m (after the classroom portion) or Friday, September 6, 7:00a.m.-11:00a.m. (field sites tbd).


Workshop Objectives:

  • Understanding of the biology of Burrowing Owl
  • Understanding of habitat management for this species.
  • Understanding of how to apply information in local and large-scale conservation planning efforts.

Topics Discussed:

  • Basic biology
  • Identification
  • Distribution/movement
  • Habitat requirements
  • Threats
  • Survey methods
  • Methods for assessing potential project impacts and approaches for avoidance and minimization.
  • Management and regulatory requirements

Field training practicum:

Personal vehicles were required for traveling to the sites.  The instructor provided information on the ecology and habitat needs of burrowing owls as well as how to plan habitats for owls. In the field, participants:

  • surveyed for active burrowing owl burrows and distinguished them from other burrows,
  • learned to identify and sex adults in the field,
  • identified chicks and their approximate age,
  • determined appropriate human disturbance buffer distances, and
  • viewed examples of enhancement for burrowing owl nesting and foraging habitat.


***very important***

It is important to note that no component of this workshop should be construed to apply to attendee’s ability to obtain permits related to the Burrowing Owl; if you are interested in how workshop activities might be used for permitting, you are encouraged to contact your agency permitting representative.



Documents and Publications

Contact List
We encourage participants to download the contact list to assist with arranging a rideshare or to get in contact with someone you met at the workshop. Those interested in sharing a ride to the event are marked on the contact list.

Burrowing Owl Workshop Presentation
PHP3, 514B
Lynne Trulio

Burrowing Owl Bibliography
PDF, 138KB
Lynne Trulio

July 2016
An analysis of spatial clustering and implications for wildlife management - a burrowing owl example
PDF, 163KB
Fisher, JB, LA Trulio, GS Biging, and D Chromczak
Environmental Management 39: 403-411
Assessing changes in the distribution and abundance of burrowing owls in California, 1993-2007
PDF, 11.4MB
Robert Wilkerson and Rodney Siegel
Bird Populations, 10: 1-36
Passive relocation - a method to preserve burrowing owls on disturbed sites
PDF, 566KB
Trulio, LA
Journal of Field Ornithology 66(1): 99-106
The diet of western burrowing owls in an urban landscape
PDF, 124KB
Trulio, L and P Higgins
Western North American Naturalist 72(3): 348-356
Burrowing owl habitat management plan - evaluation of impacts to burrowing owls for the NASA Ames development plan
PDF, 3.7MB
Trulio, L
NASA Ames Development Plan
Burrowing owl nesting success in urban and parkland sites in northern California
PDF, 358KB
Trulio, LA and D Chromczak
California Burrowing Owl Symposium, 1-15
Burrowing owl survey protocal and mitigation guidelines
PDF, 453KB
The California Burrowing Owl Consortium

Staff Report on Burrowing Owl Mitigation
PDF, 116KB
California Department of Fish and Game

Status assessment and conservation plan for the western burrowing owl in the United States
PDF, 908KB
David S. Klute, Loren W. Ayers, Michael T. Green William H. Howe Stephanie L. Jones Jill A. Shaffer Steven R. Sheffield6, Tara S. Zimmerman
US Fish & Wildlife Service, Biological Technical Publication


Directions to Michaels at Shoreline

Western Burrowing Owl Calls

Questions and Answers

Submit a question on this subject and we'll provide an answer. coastaltraining@elkhornslough.org