The northern pygmy mouse (Baiomys taylori), fulvous harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys fulvescens), and Merriam's pocket mouse (Pemgnathus merriami) are new to the diet of the western burrowing owl (Athene cuniculana hypugaed). All three species were identified from remains in regurgitated pellets collected from roost sites of burrowing owls in southern Texas over a period of 4 winters. Together, northern pygmy mice and fulvous harvest mice represented 58% of mammals identified in 182 pellets regurgitated by western burrowing owls. Merriam's pocket mouse accounted for only 4% of identified mammalian prey. Frequency of occurrence in pellets was 16% for northern pygmv mice, 11% for fulvous harvest mice, and 3% for Merriam's pocket mice. The primary reason for absence of these species in previous studies of foods of western burrowing owls is that most were conducted in latitudes north of these southern-distributed species of mammals.
Additional publication details
Rodents new to the diet of the western burrowing owl(athene CUNICULARIA HYPUGAEA )