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Yesterday, 3/1/2010, I was conducting a FWC survey for exotic prairie dogs
in Gilchrist County, north of Bell when I spotted a burrowing owl just west
of NW 52nd Pl and NW 22nd Ct.  The owl was easily visible standing on a
sandy mound about 100 m N of NW 52nd Pl.  Other FWC personnel observed
burrowing owls during a similar survey about 1.0 mi NE of this location in
2008.  I figured that this would be of interest to many of you.  However, I
would be cautious about birding the area since I don't know how birder
friendly it is.  I was in a state vehicle and in uniform.  This is rural
farm country with large pastures, hay fields, etc.  All of the land is
private and well posted.  The "developed" area NE of the location has one of
the highest densities of pit bulls per square meter I've seen in a long
time.  On the other hand, the cleared fields in the area look like good
burrowing owl habitat at least those that are not under intense cultivation.
BTW, both Google products are showing the wrong aerial photos for the area,
so if anyone is interested, e-mail me off list and I'll send the GPS
coordinates.

 

Larry Connor

Eustis, FL


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