Thursday, February 19, 2015

Burrowing Owls

The city of Cape Coral provides detailed information and maps of owl locations on line, but I still wasn't sure what to look for once we arrived.  After George questioned some DPW workers, we got the skinny on how to find them and immediately had good luck.  They are quite abundant in this town!

Oh, I should mention that when we left the highway and headed toward City Hall, we passed a field with some cattle in it.  I spied a Cattle Egret sitting right on the back of a cow and desperately wanted to stop for a photo.  We decided we would pursue the owls and stop for the egret on the way back.  When we passed this spot later, not even the cattle were there!  I can still see the perfect picture in my mind, though!

Back to the Burrowing Owls....Each location has a sign clearly marking it as a protected area.  Surrounding the burrows are white PVC pipes, set up like a fence line without fencing.  Then, there is a little wooden marker where the actual hole is.  Outside of the PVC piping, there is typically a trampled down area where you can tell other visitors have been.  The owls sit in the hole, just out of sight, but they don't seem to be very deep in the ground.  As you approach (no closer than 30 feet) and make any noise at all, they might peak out to see you.

My first view!

Now, this burrow was in a neighborhood, just on the edge of someone's property.  A neighbor across the street came out and yelled over to me, "Isn't it posing for you?"  Almost as soon as she called out to me, it popped out in the open.

The wooden marker and owl

While at another owl location, I also enjoyed seeing a Loggerhead Shrike perched on a wire nearby.

Loggerhead Shrike

This was the largest burrow we found as we drove around.  I walked around its perimeter and saw nothing.  George came over and said, "It's right there, standing outside the hole."   I couldn't believe it.  I walked right past it.

We hadn't been there together very long, but when a second owl popped out of the hole, we left.

Cape Coral is not the only city that has burrowing owls.   We later saw similar PVC piping and wooden markers in Marco Island, too.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I never realised there was such a thing as a burrowing owl!!