Missing owl returns after seven months

A hiker recently spotted a tagged burrowing owl that was missing in Arizona. ©Brandon Trentler

Two tagged burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) in Phoenix, Ariz. hadn’t been seen or detected for seven months on the gravel lot they used for habitat, but one has recently been spotted. After a local waste management firm took ownership of the area, volunteers with the Arizona Audubon Society constructed artificial burrows for the owls. Students at New Mexico State fitted them with radio transmitters to keep track of how they were doing. After a year went by, in June 2018, the two birds, which also had an egg, went missing. The egg also disappeared. The birds’ radio transmitters weren’t emitting any signals, and researchers thought they were killed. But after seven months, a hiker spotted an owl with a strange wire sticking out of its back — a radio transmitter. It turned out to be one of the missing owls.

Read the story in The Washington Post.