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Burrowing Owl Sighting Sets State Record in Delaware

burrowing owl, all about birds, bombay hook wildlife preserve, delaware, sussex county, birding, Audubon society, bird watching
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burrowing owl, all about birds, bombay hook wildlife preserve, delaware, sussex county, birding, Audubon society, bird watching

Burrowing Owl photographed by Chandler Hunts. This is a pending Delaware State Bird record

A couple of months ago a burrowing owl was seen in Bombay Hook Wildlife refuge,.  This rare bird sighting is a pending  new state record for the state of Delaware as it is the first sighting of a burrowing owl and has to be approved by the Delaware Birds Records Committee.   I talked to Chandler Hunts who took a great picture of this new and rare visitor.

From what I know about the owl there are populations in Florida and in the western United States, down to south america. The migratory population seems to be the western population of birds. They usually do not migrate often, especially this far out of range with only a few sightings in the eastern United States. I was alerted about the bird from a post on the Bombay Hooks’ website earlier on the morning it was seen.  I headed down after class and looked for it with a couple of other birders. No luck first try. I went back just before leaving and found it atop a bluebird box in the refuge.  Small brown owl with a roundish head and white throughout the chest and body. I reported the sighting to ebird…. a birding website through Cornell lab ornithology and a rare bird alert was sent out. This was the first day a burrowing owl had been reported in the state Of Delaware… Chandler Hunts

Pretty cool to see a bird make the record books for Delaware.

Fish On!!
Rich King

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