Want to help burrowing owl conservation and research?
By symbolically adopting a Burrowing Owl or becoming an Owl Watch Patron Program, you can help fund critical needs of the Owl Watch program on Marco Island. Each season, Owl Watch needs funds to purchase materials for posting new burrows, hire trained professional landscapers to weed-whack postings, and buy supplies to continue our community outreach and education. Click here to learn more about AWE’s Owl Watch Program
You can adopt an owl at one of four different levels of support; become a member of our Adopt-An-Owl Package or Owl Watch Patron Programs. Depending on what level of support, when you adopt an owl you an receive an adoption certificate with your adopted owl’s photo, your owl’s nesting season summary, 6 linen notecards with different Owl photographs, and a stuffed owl puppet! And with our highest level of Patron support, you can name a newly banded owl, get a private tour to see Marco’s Burrowing Owls, and have lunch with a knowledgeable Audubon Staff member. Corporate sponsorships are also available.
Oscar is a male Owl banded as an adult on 5/11/2019. His mate was banded the same day. In 2019, Oscar and his mate fledged 3 chicks. There are 2 pairs at this same address, which is unusual. They all live on a very big lot. Both of the pairs had chicks in 2021. Sometimes Oscar is seen looking over his family from the telephone wires.
Romeo is a male Owl, who was first banded (with a metal band only) as a chick 4/15/2018. He was captured and banded with a unique color band combination the following year.
Romeo’s mate is also color banded, and they had 2 chicks in the 2021 season. Sadly, one of those chicks was found near the road (possible car strike) and taken to the Conservancy of SW Florida for rehab. It’s unknown if the chick survived.
Marley is a male Owl who was color banded as an adult on 3/14/2018. Within 2 months, he and his mate had fledged 6 chicks. A month later, the biologist doing research on this family reported 7 chicks, all fledgling size!
Marley also fledged 2 chicks with his mate in 2020. He is often seen hanging out on mailboxes in his neighborhood.
This resilient male, named Ocean in honor of his burrow location in the dunes of Marco Island Beach, has faced many challenges. He was banded as an adult in 2018, along with his mate. The pair produced chicks for 2 summers, then Ocean’s mate disappeared. He moved a bit south on the beach, and paired with a banded female, who had also just lost her mate. Sadly, in early 2020, Ocean had to be taken to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida for emergency care. It was suspected rodenticide poisoning, as his mate was found dead in their burrow. After a healthy rehab, he’s been solo for a while, but recently has been sighted with a new mate. Fingers crossed for nesting success for this tough, little owl.
Why do researchers band owls?
AWE has partnered with the Rangeland Wildlife Lab at the University of Florida (UF-IFAS) to learn more about the Burrowing Owls of Marco Island. Burrowing Owls are being banded as part of a UF study across Southwest Florida. Each owl receives a unique combination of three plastic color bands and one metal band issued by the federal Bird Banding Laboratory at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). These bands allow researchers and volunteers to identify individual owls throughout nesting season and from year to year. Data collected from sightings of these banded owls are used to answer questions about Burrowing Owl lifespan, reproductive success, dispersal, and survival, which are essential to the conservation of this threatened species. Click to learn more about UF’s research (coming soon).
NEW Owl Watch Patron Program
AWE now has Owl Watch Patron Program packages. We have two packages to choose from:
$500 Package includes a symbolic certificate of adoption of a burrowing owl, burrowing owl fact sheet, 4x6 & 8x10 print of a burrowing owl, burrowing owl notecards, and special recognition on our website and in our Annual Report.
$1,000 Package includes all of the above benefits PLUS you get to name a banded owl, you get a private owl tour for four people, and you get lunch with a knowledgeable Audubon Staff member to talk owls.
These options are located in the Adopt An Owl section. Click on the Adopt button on any owl and choose your package.
Owl Watch T-Shirts Available!
AWE now has Owl Watch T-shirts. Shirts are 100% polyester, cool fit shirts, short sleeve.
$15.00 for Youth Small, Medium & Large.
$20.00 for Adult Sizes, Small, Medium, Large & XL
Just another way to bring awareness to SW Florida to help protect our State Threatened Burrowing Owls.
They make great gifts!