Sage Old Owls: Florida’s Favorite Burrowing Owl Residents

From Disney cartoons to horror movies, owls have haunted media for centuries; especially as backdrop for Halloween venues. Using their bright, large eyes and signature “Hoot-Hoot” calls as advertising, companies have successfully spread the word on the friendly and welcoming persona of these amiable animals. Even Wild Birds Unlimited enjoys its very own live streaming videos of the WBU Barred owl camera feed as a fun and educational resource for our many customers and their families.

While several species of owls range far and wide across the country, and while Florida is home to many of them, we also claim our very own resident species, the Burrowing Owls. Shared with a western cousin of these diminutive birds, Florida’s burrowing owls are a favorite among raptor enthusiasts who delight in the Broward County Burrowing Owls live streaming video featuring their daily lives.

Unlike the owls in which we have been conditioned to imagine, not all owls reside in large trees. Burrowing owls, in keeping with their moniker, burrow new or use existing holes in the ground provided by skunks, gophers, tortoises and other burrowing animals who abandon the holes after breeding.

Carrying a stature not much larger than a kitten, Burrowing Owls boast an unusual reputation among owls with their choice of living quarters and in the fact that they can often be seen during daylight hours, which makes for entertaining live feed viewing.

However, it is their ground-dwelling nature that often puts them in harm’s way more so than their skyward counterparts in the trees above. Burrowing Owls are in danger due to the following:

  • Land degradation due to encroachment.
  • Pesticides used for vermin control, primarily associated with gophers.
  • Naturally produced droughts which can cause wide-range wild fires and destruction of natural nesting areas.
  • Natural predators such as other owls or foxes, and even domestic animals like dogs and cats.

It is these factors that make these tiny but beloved wild birds a favorite among conservationists. Due to this floor level activity, these threats are of a special concern for those who are the watchful keepers of Florida’s Burrowing Owls. Conservationists all over the country have begun campaigns to assist in the protection and breeding processes necessary for these birds to survive against such pronounced hardships. Some of these measures to help would include:

  • Providing man-made tunnels and burrows for safe breeding and continued controlled monitoring of Burrowing Owl activities.
  • Educating the public as to the hazards faced by allowing domesticated animals to roam uncontrolled.
  • Policy changes and enforcement on municipal levels in ensure protections against over-encroachment of breeding and nesting areas.
  • Providing protected areas for continued, safe and undisturbed breeding.

Even these small provisions can make a large impact on the health and safety of these wonderful little birds. While most owls bring to mind conjurings of moss-draped oaks, wispy clouds floating across hazy October moons and soaring evening shadows lifted from craggy, outstretched  branches… the Burrowing Owl forgoes all that. As one of Florida’s most precious animal residents, the Burrowing Owl stirs feelings of protective oneness. A sense that these small animals are in need of a more patient and involved effort of assistance. They are not soaring among moonlit skies or piercing the clouds with “Hooting” calls, they are darting from below; dancing along sandy ground and sharing their daily lives with those who can see more than the comical references and into the soft, quiet nature these birds uniquely exemplify.

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We invite you to click on the image below to enjoy live streaming video of Florida’s Burrowing Owls via Birding Adventures TV!

 This blog is maintained by Click N’Quill Content and Website Management

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Hammock Bird Banding

A dynamic update on the Migratory Bird Banding Project in Hammock Park, Dunedin, Florida.

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