Burrowing Owls hatch at the Salisbury Zoo

Zookeepers got their first glimpse on Saturday, June 10, of burrowing owl hatchlings standing outside the nest burrow in their exhibit.

Previously zookeepers had observed nesting behaviors and suspected that eggs had been laid.  Because burrowing owls lay their eggs underground zookeepers were not able to confirm the presence of eggs.

In September, the owl exhibit was damaged during flooding. A large tree fell on the back side of the exhibit. Fortunately the pair was unharmed and were housed in a holding exhibit until repairs were completed.

Thanks to a donation from M&T Bank the exhibit underwent a makeover, with added space and a new nesting area.

The adult owls are being attentive parents. Initially the female owl kept the hatchlings in the nest burrow but now is allowing them to spend time gathered at its entrance.

Currently, the keepers believe that there are five or six babies, but it is still difficult observing all the family together.

It is expected that the new owls will begin to spend more time out in the exhibit, but mom still herds them back into the nest if she senses any danger.

Morning and late afternoon hours are the best times to see the new owls.

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