Cape Coral Burrowing Owls

One of the more unique birds in Florida is the Burrowing Owl. The burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) is a small, long-legged owl found throughout open landscapes of North and South America. In Florida, they are more common in the southern part of the state and can be found throughout rural and suburban areas. Burrowing owls can be found in grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, deserts, or any other open, dry area with low vegetation. They nest and roost in burrows, such as those excavated by prairie dogs. Unlike most owls, burrowing owls are often active during the day, although they tend to avoid the midday heat. Like many other kinds of owls, though, burrowing owls do most of their hunting during dusk and dawn, when they can use their night vision and hearing to their advantage. Living in open grasslands as opposed to forests, the burrowing owl has developed longer legs that enable it to sprint, as well as fly, when hunting. Burrowing Owls usually have yellow eyes. However, there is an increasing population in South Florida with Black or black with yellow speckled eyes. These are thought to be a recessive hereditary trait and may have become more common due to inbreeding. The Florida burrowing owl is classified as State Threatened by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission mostly due to habitat loss.

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