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Ground-Owl Day marks start of Burrowing Owl Festival

By Staff | Jan 30, 2020

Move over Punxsutawney Phil, there’s a new prognosticator in town.

The burrowing owl will be the center of attention Sunday morning, as the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife and Cape Coral Parks and Recreation Department host the second annual Ground-Owl Day at the Rotary Community Garden at City Hall, where residents will get answers to the looming question of how many more weeks of “winter” Cape Coral will have to endure.

This year, the city is offering two days of Ground-Owl celebrations — Saturday at Jaycee Park and Sunday at the Rotary Community Garden.

“It’s the introduction/kick-off to our Burrowing Owl Festival,” said Pashca Donaldson, president of the CCFW. “This event, and our beloved owls are unique to Cape Coral, as this is the only Ground-Owl Day in the world.”

Ground-Owl Day happenings take place from 3-5 p.m. at Jacyee Park on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to noon at Rotary Garden on Sunday.

The Cape Coral Fun-Mobile will offer free games and activities including a special owl craft.

A new burrowing owl mascot, Athene, also will be in attendance at each event. The name comes from the burrowing owl’s binomial name: Athene cunicularia.

The burrowing owls that call City Hall home — Owliver and Owlivia — hopefully will be in a social mood as they were last year, to indicate the next six weeks of weather for sunny Southwest Florida.

Jaycee Park is at 4125 S.E. 20th Place in Cape Coral.

The Rotary Community Garden is at the corner of Cultural Park Boulevard and Southeast 10th Street, on the north side of City Hall.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj