2 burrowing owls make themselves at home on Site C
Article Date: 2006-11-01 Source: http://www.marconews.com
By Ed Bania
Marco Island, Florida, U.S.A. - Two burrowing owls are nesting on Site C of the Veterans Community Park property at Elkcam Circle and Park Avenue. An orange plastic fence is around the nest and is containing the owls.
The site is where officers from the Marco Island Police Department and the
Florida Department of Environmental Protection are investigating how new pieces
of asbestos concrete pipe were found last week.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officer Kirk Harris was at the property
on Tuesday after visiting with City Hall staff. Harris said that he couldn't
comment about the incident to the media until he spoke to a lieutenant at the
"We conferenced in our environmental specialist Nancy Richie," Lisa Douglass,
city spokeswoman, said on Tuesday, referring to the city's conversation with
Harris. "We explained the history of the site and that there are two adult owls
living in the burrow."
In March, pieces of the pipe that were excavated from South Collier Boulevard
during the reconstruction of the road were discovered near the property by
volunteers of Citizens Advocating Responsible Environmental Solutions. The site
was cleaned up earlier this year.
Local resident Mario Sanchez, Ph.D was also at the site and talked with Harris.
"He said that he was told by the city that the asbestos was safe as long as it's
not crushed," Sanchez said. "I pointed out to him that I've seen videos of
people just simply crushing it by just applying pressure. I questioned whether
an owl, when it's burrowing, would affect the same thing and then release the
Two burrowing owls are nesting on Site C of the Veterans Community Park property
at Elkcam Circle and Park Avenue. More pieces of asbestos concrete pipe were
found at the site last week.
Sanchez said that Harris didn't know, but would talk to his supervisors and
investigate the incident.
"Of course we're concerned about any asbestos fragments on the property,"
Douglass said. "The city has a plan in place to have a consultant to identify
the specific area that asbestos remains underground."
The nest has been at the site since May, according to Douglass. The city's
environmental staff observed and marked the newly dug burrow on May 14, 2006.
"A second burrow was dug on June 3rd," she said. "Consequently the second burrow
was abandoned, which typically happens during rainy season, and the site stakes
were removed in July."
Douglass noted that, while it is not nesting season, the pair of owls could have
eggs by January.
She added that the owls' natural habitat has been threatened. Burrowing owls are
a species on the "Special Concern" list of the federal and state governments.
"Their habitat is declining," she said.
The owls could be at the site for as long as they make the park their home,
according to Douglass. She noted that burrowing owls have been near the Art
League of Marco Island for several years.
"We are pleased to see that owls are making a home at Veterans Park," she added.
Disclaimer: This article has been reproduced from http://www.marconews.com and placed here for comment.
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On 2006-11-03, Suzie from Monroe,G.A wrote: "I really liked your articale.
Thank you for protecting owls"
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