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Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia

Rare in shrub-steppe of southeastern Kittitas County. Records of breeders limited to several sites on Yakima Training Center, where breeding confirmed during and beyond atlas period by Center biologists (Margaret Pounds, pers. comm.), and to site west of Yakima River in L.T. Murray Wildlife Area, at southern edge of county. Formerly nested along Old Vantage Highway and near Umtanum Creek drainage along Yakima County line, with withdrawal apparently related to general population decline. Speculation has linked lower numbers of fossorial mammals that owls depend on as secondary burrow inhabitants to owl's predicament in Washington and other parts of West.

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