Building on a Lot with a Burrowing Owl Present
One of the biggest misconceptions about the Burrowing Owls located in Cape Coral is that you can’t build a home if there is a Burrowing Owl living on your property.
This myth is simply not true. Here is the scoop.
Over the past several years, Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife has been documenting every burrow they find in the City. Armed with portable GPS units, the club obtained the GPS coordinates of over 2500 Burrowing Owl burrows. This information is then given to the City and put in the City data base. Now when a permit is pulled to build a home or business, the City is aware that a burrow exists on the property. Before the permit is issued, the site is checked for the burrow.
If the burrow is located in an area that is outside the footprint of the construction, warning signs, orange flagging tape and a 10 foot perimeter is placed around the burrow alerting workers that the site is to be protected. Construction can then proceed.
If the burrow is located where the actual building will be placed, a 10 foot perimeter is installed and construction must be delayed until after July 10th. At that time a site inspection with pictures is done first. The site is checked to be sure that the juvenile owls have fledged (capable of flight) and that no Burrowing Owls are in the nest. If no Burrowing Owls are present, a report is sent to Florida Wildlife Commission to apply for a permit to “take” the burrow. This simply means the burrow is closed over. If possible, a Starter Burrow is placed nearby to help the owls relocated in the same area.