2015-10-15 / Top News

Sales of children’s book will help protect Marco’s burrowing owls

Marco Island resident Roseanne Pawelec is donating $1 from every sale of her new children’s book, “Ollie Finds a New Home,” to a fund to help protect Marco’s burrowing owls. As it takes children on a journey with Ollie the burrowing owl and his family as they search for a new underground home, the book addresses the trauma of moving for young children and offers positive life lessons about change.

“I feel privileged to have a small part in helping to protect one of Marco’s most cherished natural attractions,” Ms. Pawelec says.

Working with the Community Foundation of Collier County, the author formed the Burrowing Owl Protection Fund of Marco Island. Donations into the fund will be used to assist the city and its Owl Prowl volunteers in erecting signage near owl burrows and maintaining the rope-and-stick fencing around them.

The petite, federally protected owls are less than 12 inches tall, have long legs and a short tail, are mostly brown with numerous white or tan spots and have white eyebrows just above bright yellow eyes.

“We are always happy to get the word out on this wonderful little owl and we are always scrambling for supplies to post new burrows,” Owl Prowl volunteer Jean Hall says.

The burrowing owl population in Marco Island has grown significantly in recent years. New statistics from the city show that the number of burrowing owls on the island has increased from 326 in 2012 to 471 in 2015. The statistics also indicate that, in the last year alone, the number of active burrows has risen from 83 in 2014 to 114 in 2015.

“Ollie Finds a New Home” is illustrated by Sue Lynn Cotton. It can be purchased at Sunshine Booksellers on Marco Island or online at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and Booksamillion.com. ¦

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