The Project Perch Division of the South Florida Audubon Society responded with high interest and urgency to concerns about the fragility of the burrowing owls that live in The Woodlands. Kelly Heffernan, a compassionate human being, defender of the Florida burrowing owls and registered agent for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), acted with agility and speed to protect three burrows reported by some of us.
The most active heroes have been Danny Margolis and his wife. They removed a bait of shrimps and eggs, planted by two women in a red golf cart on early June, and later confiscated a “Have-A-Hart” trap from the burrow’s entrance. Over this past weekend, the Margolis family removed, from burrow (2), a 1’x4’ board covered in glue and found marks at burrow (1), showing the glue stick had been inside of it. Today Danny and his neighbor found a second 1’x4’ board covered in glue at burrow (1), the glue stick had caught a salamander, they both tried to save it, but they could not. The trap belonged to a 12 years old boy, the evidence was not returned, and the father of the young man claimed they did not know there were owls in the burrows. Danny Margolis was the first to send the alarm, he reported the disturbances to the Sawgrass Nature Center and the South Florida Audubon Society.
While performing their mid-June activities, the landscapers did not use owl friendly practices around the powerlines and some owls were forced to move.
Last June 20th, a crude trap made of cardboard and fishing line was recovered and removed with Doug Young from the South Florida Audubon Society present.
On July 9th, I contacted Kelly Heffernan to signal the existence of burrow (3) with two owls actively guarding it and canvassed for the proper protection.
Grateful to Kelly Heffernan for filing the permits, fencing off 10 ft around the three burrows, and installing the warning signage. Also, for requesting law enforcement and documenting all these events for Officer Harris from the FWC. Finally, Kelly also informed Damian Loughran from Clublink who mentioned not being aware about the existence of these owls in The Woodlands.