Three Weeks Birding in Florida : 15th Annual Burrowing Owl Festival at Cape Coral

This will be a fairly brief entry as the photographs of these charming birds speak for themselves! However, I would like to take this opportunity to urge anyone able to visit Cape Coral (perhaps when the 18th Festival is staged) to do so as it is vitally important that the efforts of the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife is supported (especially with an enemy of the environment in 'power' at the moment).

Here is the web address -

We were able to arrange to travel on the photographers bus setting off at about 7 in the morning (dawn) for the tiny charge of $40 each and were treated by the expert guides to a magical bird-watching and photography experience.

Burrowing Owls 095a_1656
A pair of Burrowing Owls at their nest.
As we were on such a well-organised tour we were able to get fantastic close pictures (with a 400mm lens) without risking any disturbance of the birds at their nests - a major problem as the popularity of the area grows amongst photographers. Furthermore, we were taken to see and photograph the endemic Florida Scrub Jay and an American Bald Eagle nest-site  as well with a supporting cast of Eastern Meadow Larks, Loggerhead Shrikes and a family of Great Horned Owls! Wow! (The air-conditioned bus was comfortable and very welcome as the temperature rose inexorably during the morning as well).

Florida Scrub Jay 095a_2698
Florida Scrub Jay.

Eastern Meadowlark 095a_3250
Eastern Meadowlark.

Loggerhead Shrike 095a_3145
Loggerhead Shrike.

Bald Eagle 95a_3394
American Bald Eagle at nest.

Great Horned Owl 095a_2471
Great Horned Owl.
When one considers that the council wish to build a water park (!) on the site where the Meadowlarks and Scrub Jays were photographed (but have been stopped for now by protest) then the dire future of these birds is made clear. Go visit...

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