Good morning, birders!
From reports over the weekend, the (totally awesome) Burrowing Owl is still present on a private farm in Dade County. Brad Jacobs, birding guru and my predecessor as state ornithologist, posted some helpful guidelines about viewing the Burrowing Owl in his eBird checklist last week that I wanted to share: https://ebird.org/mo/view/checklist/S44718734.
If you are thinking of traveling to see this awesome bird, please read over these friendly reminders (copied below) and respect this bird’s distance and remember that the bird is on private land. It’s been many years since a Burrowing Owl has had a confirmed active nest in the state, so the possibility that this bird may be starting a nest is quite exciting! The general theme of keeping our distance in these guidelines applies to all rare species, most of which are posted on this useful listserv. These are just a few helpful hints to keep in mind. No one would intentionally do harm to or intrude upon a rare bird purposefully, but folks understandably get excited and want to see the bird close.
From Brad Jacob’s Apr. 19 eBird checklist:
Burrowing Owl is still present on the mounds in the pasture. Please, only view the bird from the road, the owl is on private land. The owl appears to be using a badger burrow system and has been observed moving quickly from the west end of the burrow mounds about 200 feet to the east most mounds. It also has been reported that it was observed catching a small mammal and taking it down into a burrow. Again, please avoid close approach, no closer than 250 ft., which is considered a good buffer at construction sites in their main range, and in this case the pasture fence should not be crossed. Please do not play any sound recordings of the owls sounds or other bird sounds to attract its attention. If this bird has or is about to initiate a nesting cycle, we will know more within the month and perhaps be able to see a fledglings in 74 +/- day, the timing from a week of egg laying to first flight. Nesting usually occurs sometime between mid-March and August. Let's help this owl out by watching from a distance.
Thank you for your attention. Birds are awesome!
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