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Burrowing Owls with Colleen Wisinski
January 20, 2016 @ 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
6:30 p.m. Social
7:00 p.m. Program
When did you last experience that moment of excitement and delight as you suddenly spotted a burrowing owl stoically staring back at you from the entrance to its burrow? Pretty neat memory. Now imagine being tasked with monitoring over 20 pairs of burrowing owls each year, representing nearly half of the breeding population in San Diego County. Pretty neat assignment!
Colleen Wisinski is a Research Coordinator in the Applied Animal Ecology Division of the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. She has worked with golden eagles and cactus wrens over the years, and is currently the field team leader on a burrowing owl project. Her team has examined survivorship, parental care, reproductive success, diet, foraging movements, and burrow microclimate at both natural and artificial burrows. They use remote cameras to document prey deliveries, predation events, and hunting success, as well as other high-tech devices to record foraging locations of food-gathering males and to measure and record temperature and humidity inside and outside of burrows. The research is designed to gain a better understanding of local factors that may influence productivity and survival, and to ultimately provide a scientific framework to help make informed wildlife man-agement decisions in the region.
Colleen’s program will provide an overview of the project team’s results thus far, and explore the implications for the future management of burrowing owls and their habitat. As a extra treat, we will see numerous photos of one of our favorite species of native owls.