Fort Myers and Cape Coral comprise one of the largest urban areas in Southwest Florida with a metropolitan area population of about 620,000 people. Located where the wide Caloosahatchee River meets the Gulf of Mexico, this area is one of Florida’s major tourist destinations. Millions of snowbirds winter here together with the real birds that my friend Sharon and I went to see.
Our base was on Pine Island at the western edge of the area, about 18 miles from downtown Cape Coral and another couple of miles across one of three long bridges over the Caloosahatchee River to downtown Fort Myers. As we expanded the area that we explored from Pine Island outward we didn’t fail to include these cities. We found great parks teaming with wildlife there.
We even found birds on busy street corners. These Burrowing Owls live in an otherwise vacant lot next to Annie’s Cafe at the southeast corner of the intersection of Coronado Parkway and SE 47th Street in Cape Coral. I hadn’t expected to find Burrowing Owls in Florida (much less in a city), because the ones we have in Colorado live in burrows that prairie dogs build. As far as I know, Florida lacks prairie dogs, so the owls there have to dig their own burrows, which is easier there in the soft sand than in the rocky Colorado soil.
Click on the picture above to enlarge
I love not only the expression of the owlet in the photo below but also the simple background. It’s the pavement of SE 47th Street.