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Second Ground-Owl Day held at Rotary Park

By Staff | Feb 4, 2020

The second annual Ground-Owl Day took place at Rotary Park Sunday morning, where residents got the chance to learn all about burrowing owls and to see how many days of “winter” would be left in sunny Southwest Florida.

Athene, Cape Coral’s newest burrowing owl mascot, was on hand to pose for pictures with kids and adults alike, while everyone got a look at why the burrowing owl is so important to the Cape.

“We are thrilled to have our second annual Ground-Owl Day,” said Pascha Donaldson, vice president of the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife. “We have great people here. It’s wonderful to see the kids interact with Athene. It’s great. It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling.”

The Cape Coral Funmobile also made an appearance at the event, as kids were busy creating owl-themed crafts and maybe having their first interaction with the adorable little owls.

“The day is a great way to educate the people and the children of Cape Coral and get them to love wildlife,” Donaldson said.

Although there are no burrows at Rotary Park, attendees were treated to lots of educational information on the owls and what to do if you notice a burrowing owl making its home on your property.

Donaldson encouraged the public to venture out to a burrow near their home to be prognosticators for this year’s Ground-Owl Day.

“We want the owls to see their shadows so that we have six more weeks of glorious winter,” Donaldson joked. “Because Florida wants that Florida winter.

“We can ask the community to go check their owls in the neighborhood and if they see their shadow, call it in. Call the newspaper, call the mayor, call the Friends of Wildlife and give us your prediction: whether you saw winter or saw summer around the corner.”

Ground-Owl Day is the precursor for the CCFW’s biggest event of the year, the Burrowing Owl Festival.

This year will be the 18th annual event, also held at Rotary Park, on Feb. 29. Highlights include live Florida wildlife, free butterfly house tours, 30 wildlife and environmental exhibitors, guided owl bus tours, wildlife presentation, environmental speakers and much, much more.

A $5 donation is requested at the gate and is free for children 12 and under.

Rotary Park is at 5505 Rose Garden Road.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj