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Burrowing owls to be featured on TV series episode

By Staff | May 3, 2016

Cape Coral’s burrowing owls have starred in documentary films many times before. The city’s official bird is featured in a segment of a new National Geographic Wild TV channel series United States of Animals that airs at 10 p.m. on Friday.

A film crew came to Cape Coral in February 2015 for the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife Club’s Burrowing Owl Festival. Friends of Wildlife members recall the crew interviewed several of them and went on the guided bus tour to film the unusual creature’s behavior in its natural residential habitat.

Club members volunteer one morning each week trimming vegetation, repairing and cleaning up more than 2,200 existing burrows. They also stake out the nests with PVC pipes and install perches at new-found burrows all over the city.

These owls are the only bird of its kind to live underground. NatGEo Wild’s episode description points out the eccentric animal “has an arsenal of bizarre defenses to use against larger predators.”

The United States of Animals series made its debut on April 29 with two half-hour episodes starting at 10 p.m. (Check local listings for channel number for your provider.) Cape’s burrowing owls share episode segments this week with Wolves of Wall Street, North Carolina black bears and miniature aquariums left in tidal pools on California’s Pacific coast.

The series strives to take its viewers on a fast-paced wildlife adventure tour while providing a fact-filled guide of the wild, the weird and the wow of animals co-habitating in our very own backyards.