Sunday, December 18, 2016

Pelican Blvd Baseball Fields 12/14--Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl
Photos: Shari Zirlin
We drove south in Cape Coral where it seemed every empty lot had an owl indicator stuck in the ground but no owls were out. Perhaps, we thought, because it was mid-day. We decided to look for them at their historical site, the fields behind the Cape Coral library. If nothing else, we could take a bio break there. Now owls there either. The last sighting for them had been at the Pelican Blvd Baseball fields, which were about a mile away from the library so we all headed over there, driving slowly around the perimeter of the fields, which also had some stakes, but no again, no owls. Mike decided to look across the street at the soccer fields (why not, what do owls know about sports?) when I got a text from Karmela: "Got one." We hot-tailed it back to the baseball fields and there, just at the fence line was one Burrowing Owl, calmly looking back at us.

We were enjoying this owl when one of the maintenance workers told us that there was a mother with her owlet out in the farther field. We walked over there, and there, in foul territory on the third base side, were the two owls, looking up at us from their hole. I don't know what the ground rules are for owls there.

We were also hoping to find Nanday Parakeets at this location and when we heard some fierce screeching I was hopeful but the birds making the ruckus turned out "only" be Monk Parakeets. They appear to like nesting in the field lights.

When a flock of them really got active, flying low over the two owls over the third base side, the mother owl jumped out of her hole and began a distraction display.

The Burrowing Owls were the last year birds we listed on the trip. They brought my year total up to 446 species. Not as many species as I was hoping for when the year began, but more than I've had before in one year.

9 species
Turkey Vulture  3
Mourning Dove  6
Burrowing Owl  3     
Downy Woodpecker  1
Monk Parakeet  21
Loggerhead Shrike  1
Northern Mockingbird  1
European Starling  5
Palm Warbler  4

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