Wild At Heart Burrowing Owl Release Sites at Maricopa County Flood Control District Channel in Laveen, Arizona

February - June 2005


The photo above shows the volunteers admiring their work after erecting the first release tent along the flood control channel in Laveen. Members of Sonoran Audubon, students from ASU East, AZ Game and Fish, volunteers from Maricopa County Flood Control and Valley Crest Landscaping, and volunteers from the general public all pitched in to erect two release tents in February, 2005.

Here Bob Fox, the Director of Wild At Heart, carefully places a Burrowing Owl into the release tent where it will stay for 30 days. Volunteers from Sonoran Audubon and Maricopa County Flood Control District brought mice provided by Wild At Heart to the tent every day to keep the owls well fed during their stay in the tent.

Maricopa County Flood Control District was very pro-active in this project. Before construction of the 5.3 mile channel was begun, the District worked with Wild At Heart to safely remove all the owls in the project area so they could be relocated. Then the District arranged for excavation of the burrow holes by Maricopa County and funding through Valley Crest Landscaping for all the materials for 64 artificial burrows that were installed along the channel.

Here is one of the male Burrowing Owls just before being placed into the release tent. The green AZ Game and Fish band indicates that the owl is a male and provides a large ID code that can be seen through good optics at a distance. The silver band is the US Fish and Wildlife Service band.

After the tent comes down some of the owls disperse to expansion burrows placed nearby. This owl is near an expansion burrow where juvenile owls were born in the spring of 2005.

Follow this link to see a short video of the burrow camera going through the entrance tube to where one of the juvenile owls is in the burrow underground. You will see that the juvenile owl has not been banded yet.


Remember, Wild At Heart could not do these kinds of projects without your financial support. Also, Please contact Wild At Heart if you would like to volunteer to help with rescue, transport, or facility activities. They can be reached at:


For more information about this project, and to find out if your property could be used as a release site, use your email to contact:

b i r d i n f o @ m i r r o r - p o l e . c o m.

You will need to type it in manually and eliminate the spaces.

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Copyright Greg Clark, 2005



update 9/2012