Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) are small, highly social, diurnal (active during the daytime) birds that live in the abandoned burrows of ground squirrels and other mammals.
Once common in the Phoenix valley, these birds are disappearing rapidly due to development. Fortunately, the birds can be trapped and successfully relocated to safe sites—but these sites are becoming increasingly rare.
In partnership with the City of Phoenix and Wild at Heart—an Arizona-based raptor rehabilitation center—Downtown Owls began in 2013 as an urban wildlife habitat creation project in the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area and has now grown to include several other sites valley-wide. Thousands of volunteers of all ages and from all walks of life have participated thus far and hundreds of owls have be re-homed.