Conservation Programs

Downtown Owls

Join Audubon Arizona, Wild at Heart and the City of Phoenix to help burrowing owls in the Phoenix valley!
Photo: Scott Bartelt
Conservation Programs

Downtown Owls

Join Audubon Arizona, Wild at Heart and the City of Phoenix to help burrowing owls in the Phoenix valley!


Audubon Arizona’s Downtown Owls

Join Audubon Arizona, Wild at Heart and the City of Phoenix to help burrowing owls in the Phoenix valley!

Burrowing owls are small, day-active birds that live in the abandoned burrows of ground squirrels and other mammals. They are highly social and eat primarily insects and mice. 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, however these sites are becoming increasingly rare.

“Downtown Owls” is an urban wildlife habitat creation project in the City of Phoenix’s Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area and is funded in part through the Toyota TogetherGreen program.  Nearly 900 volunteers of all ages and from all walks of life participated in the installation of 250 burrows at five locations within the park. 100 displaced owls have been relocated at five sites.  Where?

Feel free to visit the owls!  The birds are most active in the morning and evening.  Please respect the birds and stay at least 10 feet (3 meters) away.

Work continues and we need your help! We host burrow-building workdays on the third Saturday of each month, except December. Contact Cathy Wise for more information or to RSVP. Check out the 2017 schedule here,

Update - Spring 2016: Burrowing Owl babies have been confirmed at the 16th St. site! 

Photo: Greg Clark

A mother Burrowing Owl (we call her B79) has been hard at work raising owlets at 16th Street. She was rescued from 43rd Ave and Southern on 9/11/14 and released in the Rio Salado Habitat on 3/16/15 and stuck around to lay 3 eggs this spring. Check her out in the video below!

Burrowing Owl mother with 3 babies

Watch the rest of the Owl Cam footage here.

How you can help, right now