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Photo by Charlie Vogt

Amongst the seemingly endless (and ever increasing) list of Birds of Ecuador both the short-eared owl (Asio flammeus) and the burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) appear. These two are diurnal owls are often spotted on our adventures through the highlands. Diurnal means active during the day, so as we travel along our route, we can see them hunting for their next meal.

The short-eared owl is found both on the mainland of Ecuador in the Andes and on The Galapagos Islands (almost every island), as well as throughout the Americas. The success of this species of owl – inhabiting different areas, is probably due to eating a variety of different prey, including invertebrates, mammals, rodents and even other small birds.

Photo by Charlie Vogt

The burrowing owl is found in different parts of the mainland, mainly in flatter open areas. They get their name from the very unique behaviour of living in burrows in the ground instead of in trees.

Interestingly, when they feel threatened they pop down into their burrows and make a hissing sound, mimicking a rattlesnake, which helps scare away any potential dangers!

They can be seen standing on the burrows they have made, or sometimes walking and running, searching for large invertebrates and rodents to eat. They are very sociable birds, and also incredibly cute.

Are you a big owl fan? Ask us about which routes have the highest chance of a sighting! Our knowledgeable guides can take you to the best possible spots.

At Ride Andes we pride ourselves on our incredible riding tours but we also offer a huge range of other activities in our riding areas and can plan all your trip extensions. We encourage you to bring your “non-rider” friends and family and we can set them up with “extensions” for the entire trip while you are off riding. Contact us for more information.

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