Golf course construction threatening burrow owls, Hollywood residents say

Residents fight to protect burrow owls at old Hillcrest Golf Course

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Burrowing owls are good at protecting their nesting area, and when they feel threatened they fight back.

In Hollywood, a group of residents have started a fight to save the birds that live in the old Hillcrest Golf Course, which is under construction to make way for a new home development.

"Spread his wings, screamed at him trying to protect the burrow," Mike Harweger, said about the bird.

Hollywood residents, including Harweger,  aren’t happy to see these pictures taken of crews with shovels in hand to allegedly fill in burrows.

"I was watching one of the men take a shovel and completely demolish one of the burrows," Harweger said.

Harweger confronted a woman filling the burrows recently and recorded his exchange.

"I was watching one of the men take a shovel and completely demolish one of the burrows," he said.

That's when he asked the woman for a permit.

"I'll give you a copy of the permit," a woman said on the video.

The woman then asked Harweger to stop recording, but he refused.

When confronted by Local 10 News for permits, those with the construction company said it wasn’t his crew that was moving the owls.

The burrowing owl is one of the smallest owls in the state and spends most of its time in open prairies and is known to burrow at golf courses.

Their greatest threat is loss of habitat.

However, birds are not the only animals that may be in trouble.

Video shot by a viewer claims to show a turtle trapped in cement at the golf course.

The turtle was freed and released nearby.

As for the owls, it’s not clear where the animals could end up.

"It's my hope that the developers are going to be reaching out if they haven't already done so to the right people to get the support to make this happen," Hollywood commission candidate Barry Faske said.


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