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26 Oct

The presence of burrowing owls is primarily dependent upon habitat.Humans have created new habitat for burrowing owls by clearing forests and draining wetlands.

Burrowing owls use burrows year-round; for roosting during the winter and for raising young during the breeding season (Feb - July).They need to nest in areas above the flood level and the area closest to the road is most suitable for them. The burrowing owl spends most of its time on the ground, where its sandy brown plumage provides camouflage from potential predators.One of Florida's smallest owls, it averages nine inches in height with a wingspan of 21 inches.Burrowing owls mainly eat insects, especially grasshoppers and beetles.They can be of special benefit in urban settings since they also consume roaches and mole crickets.Unusually long legs provide additional height for a better view from its typical ground-level perch.The Florida burrowing owl occurs throughout the state although its distribution is considered local and spotty.Q: Why is there a fence around the owls and why are they so close to the road? A: Typically burrowing Owls breed in the winter from January to March but these owls have been known to breed throughout the year and raise multiple broods.A: The fence protects the owls from disturbance and their burrow is in an irrigation swale on the school property. ABOUT BURROWING OWLS The burrowing owl is a pint-sized bird that lives in open, treeless areas.Burrowing owls inhabit open native prairies and cleared areas that offer short groundcover including pastures, agricultural fields, golf courses, airports, and vacant lots in residential areas.Historically, the burrowing owl occupied the prairies of central Florida.