English and Scientific names:

Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)

Number of individuals: 

1 adult

Locality: LOUISIANA: 


Specific Locality:

Grand Isle; north end of Ludwig Lane where it deadends at Bayou Rigaud/Caminada Bay.

Date(s) when observed:

11 February, 2007

Time(s) of day when observed:  

4:00-4:30 p.m.

Reporting observer and address:

Phillip Wallace

New Orleans, LA

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):

Dan Purrington discovered the bird. Also David Muth and Curt Sorrells.

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)

There had been several reports from other parts of the island earlier in the winter. The Boslers saw our bird at the same location a few days later.

Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

Fair to good. Initially backlit, but later bird was to the back of the observer.

Optical equipment: 

Zeiss 10 x 40 bins

Distance to bird(s): 

5-15 meters

Duration of observation:

25-30 minutes; bird in sight the entire time


On a mound of concrete and other debris from Katrina. 20 meters from Caminada Bay. Park-like area with small trees to the west. Scrub to the east.

Behavior of bird: 

Flushed from the mound; flew into grass to hide. Flushed back onto the mound. Typical upright posture and then hunkered down on the mound.


Fairly small owl with long legs. Brownish on back with white spots. Dark brown horizontal streaking on breast and belly. With some postures, shows short white vertical stripe from throat to mid-breast. White forehead. White throat, yellow eyes, greenish bill. Partial black collar.



Similar species:

Short-eared owl only other owl likely to be so terrestrial, but is much larger and with totally different plumage.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Stills from video accompany this report. Video submitted to LBRC.

Previous experience with this species: 

I've seen a couple of times in LA and many times out west.

Identification aids:

Sibley for subspecies. Appears to be the western form, as expected.

This description is written from: 

Memory and videotape.

Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 




Phillip Wallace

Date and time: 

11 March, 2007
5:34 p.m.