Airport gives a hoot for owls
Article Date: 2007-11-27 Source: http://www.tampabays10.com
By Kathryn Bursch
St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.A. - At a place where planes soar through the air, some bird lovers are getting down to earth. On Tuesday morning, a group of people with shovels were digging holes at Albert Whitted Airport.
It looked like they were digging for treasure, but these folks were actually
trying to save a Florida treasure: the burrowing owl.
"We're digging a hole for the nest box area," said Gabe Vargo, an owl
A few of the small, ground-dwelling owls used to live at the airport, but
various activities like the air show and Grand Prix car race may have driven
them away. So now some bird lovers, city officials and an airport advocate are
teaming up and creating new burrows that they hope owls will find attractive.
One burrow features a buried box and piping for tunnels to create kind of an owl
condo. The other owl digs are much simpler, basically a starter hole that the
owls could finish themselves.
Lorraine Margeson, an active bird watcher, placed a small perch near the holes.
"What they really like to have is a little place they can hop up from the hole
and scan for bad guys and then fly off and get the food for the babies or
Burrowing owls love flat grassy areas, because it's easy for them to spot
predators. So airports are actually one of their favorite spots to call home.
"They live there, because that's some of the few open areas left for them.
That's what they needů broad open spaces," said Vargo.
This method to attract owls has worked elsewhere; so at a place where planes
take off, these folks would love to see some owl "happy landings".
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2005-03-12 - Rare owls found near racecourse by Melanie Ave - St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.A.
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