Monday, February 11, 2013

Cape Coral, Fl

Burrowing Owl Sign
Cape Coral is located on the Gulf Coast of Florida along the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River. The city was founded in 1957 as a master planned pre-platted community. It encompasses 120 square miles which makes it one of the largest cities, in area, in the state of Florida. The city also boasts over 400 miles of canals which is more then any other city in the world. Unfortunately the extensive canal system has had a negative affect on the environment and the tides. We found the city interesting and difficult to navigate, with all the canals, but the reason that we stopped in Cape Coral is because it is home to the largest population of Florida burrowing owls in the world.
Burrowing Owl
 There are two subspecies of burrowing owls found in North America, the Florida burrowing owl and western burrowing owl. The western subspecies are more numerous and found through out much of the western half of North America. The Florida burrowing owls are the only burrowing owls that live in the eastern United States. The Florida subspecies also differs because they dig their own burrows unlike the western burrowing owls that use abandon mammal holes. It is estimated that Cape Coral has over 2500 burrows within the city limits. Burrows are marked by signs like the one above and since the birds are a protected species care has to be taken not to disturb them or their burrows. I am guessing that some people might think that it is a pain having burrowing owls in their yard but I know that I would pay extra to buy a house that had burrowing owls nesting in the yard. Maybe some day, like when I retire, but for now we only had spent about half a day and we were lucky and found an active nest that was very close to the road.


6 comments:

Mama Zen said...

Gorgeous bird!

troutbirder said...

Nice posts. We just returned from Florida and enjoyed the birding as well. Ding Darling and Corkscrew were highlights...

Martha Z said...

I would love to see these.

Fun60 said...

This is a first for me. I have't heard of this type of owl. I too would be really excited to see one.

DeniseinVA said...

A burrowing owl is a sight I would dearly love to see. Magnificent bird!

Dana said...

I used to hear owls all the time when I was growing up, but I don't remember ever seeing any. I'd like too.

Nice shots!