Cape Coral neighbors concerned about burrowing owl nest near construction site

Reporter: Erika Jackson
Published: Updated:
Burrowing owl (WINK News)

Neighbors are concerned about a burrowing owl’s nest in Cape Coral that’s right near a construction site. One woman says she has seen the nest tampered with, but the builder has a permit.

Step by step, Lori Sepulveda takes in the beauty of her Cape Coral neighborhood, oftentimes spotting burrowing owls.

“I enjoyed seeing them every day. There were two owls that the dogs could walk by, they stared at,” she said.

But down the street from her home, a sighting of some burrowing owls in distress; their burrow within a residential construction site — destroyed.

“The owls were across the street squawking because their home is gone. Who knows if there were little ones in there,” she said.

So Sepulveda filed a report with Florid Fish and Wildlife on Tuesday.

The builder, D.R. Horton, does have a migratory bird nest removal permit from FWC and says it hired an environmental consultant to mitigate the hole, but FWC says they’re investigating.

“I walk by it every day and they were there Sunday night the two, maybe mom and dad owls,” Sepulveda said.

FWC says the adult owls may return and build another nest, which the builder can destroy with the permit as long as no owls or eggs are harmed.

According to D.R. Horton, it continues to inspect job sites and comply with FWC requirements, to save a staple in Southwest Florida and preserve the presence of our protected critters.

“We live in Florida, we have to care about our wildlife,” Sepulveda said.

Taking, possessing or selling burrowing owls, their nests or eggs without a permit is illegal. Violators could face a third-degree felony.

If you see an unmarked nest, you can reach out to the FWC or your local municipality for assistance. Guidelines can be found here.

For more information on permits, click here.

For more information on burrowing owls, click here.

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