Cape residents claim burrows in area ignored

Posted: 6:41 PM, Jul 20, 2017
Updated: 2017-07-20 18:53:03-04

Southwest Florida viewers are speaking up for owls. Four In Your Corner has received calls and e-mails from concerned Cape Coral residents claiming owls don't have a place to call home because their burrows aren't being cared for.

Florida Fish and Wildlife lists burrowing owls as threatened animals in Florida. Experts say habitat loss is a main concern.

Residents in Northeast Cape Coral say grass in vacant lots are waist high. One concerned viewer telling Four In Your Corner he can't remember the last time the grass was cut.

"My property is open to them and they generally go up there to get relief from the sun but at night with their families and littles ones they have no where to go," a resident said. "How are they going to get to their nesting or burrows?"

Four In Your Corner took viewers' concerns to the city and those who work with city officials to coordinate borrow care.

Pasha Donaldson the Vice President of the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife says volunteers with the organization have maintained the owl boroughs for about 15 years, but as of last October the city took over responsibility for the upkeep of more than 3,000 burrows. Donaldson says nesting season is from February to July which is why upkeep has been delayed.

"Friends of Wildlife did GPS all the sites and we gave all those points to the city," she said. "We do not disturb the birds during that nesting season while there are babies and young learning to fly. Plus, with the rainy season, everything grows quickly."

The city has scheduled maintenance for the lots for this week. If you have any concerns about burrowing owls in the area you are urged to call Fish and Wildlife or the City of Cape Coral with any complaints.