Cape Coral is a 3 hour trip from home, which explains why we have talked about driving there before, but we were trying to ensure the best timing to see the burrowing owls with their chicks. April through June is what we have seen in print, but seeing chicks turning up on photographers Facebook feeds sent us off on our journey. Ordinarily I’d have been perfectly happy to see one of the owls at all, but setting your heart on seeing a chick is asking for disappointment. Maybe it was bad luck, or maybe it’s just that we don’t have any ‘inside’ information on places to look.
We stopped at a park to eat our lunch and talked with a resident who was shooting hoops on the playground. I asked if he knew any good spots to see the owls and he said they are ‘everywhere’. And yes, the marked off nests for the burrows were easy to spot as we drove around, but we didn’t see any owls there. He said that Hurricane Ian had hit the area hard, and the burrows were abandoned because they were wet. But now, he said, they are starting to see the owls returning. He noticed two owls that had returned, one on each side of the road, on his dog walks. He said that after a while they had joined forces and were now at the same burrow. Maybe that is good news. And I have to hope that his observations hold true, that the owls are returning. And soon all the nesting sites will be occupied by these cute little birds.