Our Own MSD Owl

Zach Kaufman

Among Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ long list of new additions is one mysterious Burrowing Owl, which is perched in a palm tree next to the 200 building. This small, flat headed, yellow eyed, long legged bird is active during the day, yet hunts primarily at night. Usually, these kinds of owls burrow in clear wide-open areas, such as pastures, agricultural fields, golf courses, airports, and vacant lots in residential areas. But in this special case, the owl inhabits our school, more specifically a tree.

The Florida Burrowing Owl is considered a “species of special concern” by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. According to myfwc.com, this means that any owls, their burrows, and their eggs are protected from harassment and/or disturbance by state law. Burrowing Owls are also protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

There are various ways to help our fury friends. For example, avoid using pesticides near the owl’s burrow because they primarily hunt insects. Also according to myfwc.com, if you want to attract a Burrowing Owl to your house, remove a 1-2 foot circular plug of sod from the lawn. This exposes the sandy soil needed by the owls for burrowing. You might also start the burrow and place a pile of loose sand near the mouth. Placing a T-perch near the burrow can also help draw it to a pair’s attention.

“It’s really cool to see a random owl on the way to class,” senior Chance Witte proclaimed.

Finally, report malicious destruction or harassment of burrowing owls or their nests. 1-888-404-FWCC (3922).