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Burrowing Owls

Burrowing Owls

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Photo Courtesy of Dan Tudor



Florida Burrowing Owl Information

The City of Cape Coral adopted the Florida burrowing owl as the "Official City Bird" at the City Council meeting on September 6, 2005.

The Florida Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia floridan)is the most encountered listed species in the City of Cape Coral with over 3,500 owl burrows. The Florida burrowing owl is a small, long-legged owl (averaging 9 inches in height) that lives in open areas with low vegetation, such as dry prairies, pastures, parks, agricultural fields, golf courses, airports and vacant lots.  Burrowing owls dig burrows that they use for nesting and sheltering, though they also will use gopher tortoises or armadillo burrows, as well as some manmade structures.  Burrowing owl burrow entrances are roughly circular or oblong and vary in size, typically 3.5 to 6 inches in diameter, often—but not always—with a mound of excavated soil at the entrance.  During the breeding season, the entrance to the nesting burrow may contain adornments such as paper, shells, glass, pieces of plastic, animal fecal material, clumps of grass, animal parts, or other items.

Links to more information:

Florida Burrowing Owl: Frequently Asked Questions 

Burrowing Owl Protection, City Ordinance 20-19
Florida Burrowing Owl Incidental Take Permit Information
Burrowing Owl Species Conservation Measures and Permitting Guidelines

City of Cape Coral’s Burrowing Owl Building Permit Procedures
Burrowing Owl/Gopher Tortoise Affidavit

If you find or encounter any of the following situations:

  • Molesting, harassing, or killing owls and/or damaging, filling, or destroying owl burrows is a crime. Please report the violations to FWC’s 24 hour hotline at 1-888-404-3922.
  • Injured or wounded owls please immediately call the Clinic Rehab of Wildlife (CROW) 239-472- 3644.
  • Report new Burrowing Owl nest locations to planningquestions@capecoral.gov