CAPE CORAL, Florida (WBBH) — They’re cute, they’re curious and they’re protected!
Nesting season has just begun in Cape Coral for the burrowing owl, the official bird of the Cape.
Officials said it’s important for humans to keep their distance to help protect the species. There are thousands of burrows across the city of Cape Coral that house the burrowing owls and right now the nesting season for the little animals is underway.
During nesting season the burrowing owls will “decorate” their burrows with little pieces of trash including cigarette butts. It means the mom is sitting on some eggs in there, according to Pascha Donaldson, President of the Cape Coral Wildlife Trust.
Donaldson said the owls bring the trash to attract insects and to help disguise the nest.
When there is “decoration” around a burrow the dad owl is usually protecting the nest while the mom sits on the eggs, Donaldson said.
These types of owls are usually friendly unless they are protecting a nest, officials said. Those who get too close will likely get hissed at. The eggs take about 28 days to hatch, and babies will usually start to emerge in late April or early May.
Each burrow will house about three to five baby owls.
Humans should stay at least 33 feet away from the burrows during nesting season, Donaldson said. Including any construction in the area. If a construction site is too close to a burrowing owl, wildlife officials said they should be reported to code enforcement.
Nesting season ends in July.
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