Photo Courtesy of Dan Tudor
Cape Coral Burrowing Owl Cam
Building Permit Procedures for Burrowing Owls
Cape Coral Burrowing Owl Viewing Locations
Burrowing Owl/Gopher Tortoise Affidavit DCD-3002
Burrowing Owl Information
The Florida Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia floridan) is the most encountered lisited species in the City of Cape Coral with over 2,500 owl burrows. The Florida Burrowing Owl is classified as a "species of special concern" by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC). Burrows, owls, and their eggs are protected from harassment and/or disturbance by State law and by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In 2005, The City of Cape Coral designated the Florida Burrowing Owl the official City Bird. (Resolution 50-05)
The Burrowing Owl is a small, pint-sized bird that lives in open, treeless areas. The Burrowing Owl spends most of its time on the ground, where its sandy brown plumage provides camouflage from potential predators. One of Florida's smallest owls, this bird averages nine inches in height, with a wingspan of 21 inches. The Burrowing Owl has bright yellow eyes and unusually long legs that provide additional height for a better view to spot predators. Instead of nesting in the trees, as most birds do, the Burrowing Owl gets its name from living underground in burrows. It digs its own holes or lives in abandoned Gopher Tortoise burrows. Burrowing owls are unique in that they can live in close proximity to humans.
Potential predators of the Burrowing Owl include hawks, cats, dogs, and exotic Nile Monitor Lizards. One of the main threats to the owl’s survival is destruction of their habitat. In Cape Coral, burrowing owl habitat is located primarily on vacant lots. As more vacant lots are being developed, more Burrowing Owl habitat is shrinking. A significant portion of the reported deaths and injuries to Burrowing Owls are from collisions with automobiles. During the nesting season, baby burrowing owls are fledging (learning to fly) and are more susceptible to collusions with automobiles.