Species: Athene cunicularia
Age: 9-12 yrs
Area: American South and Southwest
Papago is named for the Papago Indian Reservation in Arizona where he was found. The literal translation of his name is "Little man of the desert"
Although not a native species of North Carolina, he provides a great example of the wide range of shapes, sizes, and behaviors of owls.
Burrowing Owls - Athene cunicularia
Burrowing owls use the holes of prairie dogs and other rodent species as a nest, hence their name.
Older names for burrowing owls include "Koko" or "kokopelli," meaning fire spirit. These birds are known to dance and whistle tunes, possibly making a partial basis for the Native American legends of the Kokopelli desert fire spirits from the underworld.