This past week, Cathy Schneider, alerted Travis Audubon to a Burrowing Owl that has set up a winter territory in the new Mueller housing development project off of Manor Road. The exact location is in the open space north of the Southeast Greenway ponds, east of Tilley Street and south of Zach Scott Street. It has taken up residence in the extracted rocks that have been piled up on the west side of the dirt "dome." We're hoping there are no immediate plans for a contractor to haul off these rocks. They've been there for weeks (or months?). In the meantime, it would be nice to set up some kind of barrier with a 25-50 meter buffer from the rock pile to minimize disturbance from construction workers, dog walkers, playful kids, etc.
In sharing this unusual and sensitive observation, I expect everyone to respect the owl's space, give it plenty of distance and avoid disturbing it during the day as it rests (alarming or spooking it -- erect posture and any sort of barking vocalization means you're too close!). Like most owls, Burrowing Owls hunt predominantly at night.
Many thanks to Cathy and her husband, both of whom joined Travis Audubon this week! Perhaps this Burrowing Owl will be their most memorable spark bird.