Not only are burrowing owls considered to be the unofficial mascot of Cape Coral, but they are also afforded additional protections under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act since they are a species that is in risk of becoming extinct. There is a lot of disagreement in Cape Coral on whether or not one of the smallest owls in the world should be protected. On the bright side, they are adorable, non-threatening, and helpful because they consume undesirable critters such as cockroaches, snakes, and rats. In addition, they are a source of entertainment. On the other hand, the presence of these lovable creatures can be a source of frustration for landowners in Cape Coral, particularly if the birds have made their homes on the land in question.
In spite of the widespread belief to the contrary, construction can continue even if burrowing owls are present in the area. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission just requests that a few basic guidelines be adhered to, and in the event that these guidelines are not met, a burrowing owl permit removal must be obtained.
The first thing that needs to be done in order to get a building permit is to have a site inspection done. During this inspection, the exact locations of any owl burrows that are on the land as well as any vacant properties that are in the immediate area need to be pinpointed. If your construction plans do not involve disturbing the area within a 10-foot (or 33-foot during nesting season) radius of the nest, and if you properly mark or rope off the area to prevent construction equipment from entering the designated burrow area, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will probably give their approval to your plans.
On the other hand, if the owls decide to make their nest directly in the centre of the lot, things could get difficult for you. It may take up to eight weeks to obtain a nest removal permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, but the wait is well worth it in circumstances in which there is no other option to get rid of the nest in a safe manner. It is strictly forbidden to destroy the nest between the dates of February 14 and July 10, regardless of whether or not authorization has been obtained to do so, during the period commencing on February 14 and ending on July 10. It is vital to organize your building around that time, even if there are no eggs in the nest at that moment because it will affect how the nest will develop.
In the case that an existing burrow needs to be legally demolished to create room for development, it is strongly recommended that a new “starting burrow” be constructed somewhere on the land. This is because the legality of destroying an existing burrow is subject to interpretation. In addition to this, once the construction is completed, who among us wouldn’t want to see those adorable tiny beaks and feathered faces poking their heads out every so often to say hello?