Scientists have come up with some tricks to make transplanted owls feel like they are not alone in their new digs, playing owl sounds and scattering fake poop.

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The small, burrowing owls live in grasslands and have been losing ground to development in fast-growing regions like Silicon Valley and Southern California.

Scientists have tried moving the owls to protected grasslands but the challenge has been getting the owls to accept their new homes.

In a pilot program, the scientists took pains to create the impression that other owls already lived there. And it worked.

The researchers published their findings Thursday.

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