South Florida Audubon Society

The Burrowing Owl Cam is the result of an amazing partnership among EarthCam, Birding Adventures, South Florida  Audubon Society, NatureScape Broward, and the Broward County Schools. The students hope to raise awareness and increase protection efforts for Burrowing Owls  everywhere and want children to be able to watch them, like they  can. You can also follow Kelly's Blog from the site to keep up with the latest Burrowing Owl news.

Follow the Owls on Facebook.

Installation of a web cam provides a glimpse into the life of a Burrowing Owl family in Broward County.  Check back often to see the activities of this year's brood.  Although you may see them at any time of day, the best times are at dawn and dusk.

Project Perch is creating a real life "hoot" in Broward County. Kelly Heffernan, an avian biologist, started Project Perch for the South Florida Audubon Society in 2008.  Project Perch’s mission is to protect and nurture the owls in southeast Florida.  Specifically, Project Perch: 

  • Provides protection by finding and educating “caretakers” for as many owls as possible, 
  • Counts the owls annually during breeding season, and
  • Promotes the population by working with landowners to provide artificial burrows and nest boxes.  

Growing up in south Florida's developed landscape presents many challenges for an owlet; unfortunately, not all make it.  Many of them find their way to a rehabilitation center, but their challenge does not end there.  Once healthy again, they are released back into a new environment, but where is a safe place to release them?  They need a chance to get used to their new environment, to find safety, food, and shelter.  

Project Perch has partnered with the Broward County Schools, South Florida Wildlife Center, the Sawgrass Nature Center, NatureScape Broward, Cindy Rohkam, and Brian Mealey, Executive Director, of the Institute of Wildlife Sciences, to develop safe release sites for rehabilitated owlets.  

As the largest land owners in Broward County, schools make perfect release sites and provide opportunities for educating youngsters about the owls in our region.  Schools have assisted, with the help of SFAS, the owl population by installing Eastern Screech Owl boxes and artificial Burrowing Owl burrows on their properties.  The boxes and burrows provide an immediate safe place for the owls to go to escape predators, increasing their chance of survival.  Also, the school can support feed the owls for a few days giving them time to acclimate to their new environment and start to find prey on their own.  The students and teachers then monitors the owls and the boxes and burrows can be reused when empty.

In addition to schools, others in the community such as churches and municipalities have also helped provide safe, artificial burrows for the local Burrowing Owl population.

The Florida burrowing owl is classified as "threatened" by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This means burrows, owls, and their eggs are protected from harassment and/or disturbance by state law. Burrowing owls are also protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  Because of their status, Project Perch has focused on repopulating the Burrowing Owls in Broward County.

SFAS now has registered agents with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) who can help with relocation of Burrowing Owls.

photo credit: Liza Morffiz Chevres