Barn owl chicks thriving at the Lake Apopka North Shore

Mother owl flying away from her birdhouse

District staff recently visited a nesting box to check on the health of the baby birds (who are about 4 to 5 weeks old), waiting until mama owl left to raise a “peeper camera” on a telescoping pole to take a peek.

Those curious, ghostly faces are something to behold.

District employee installing an owl boxes

The district installed the owl boxes to provide nesting habitat for the owls that once nested in barns on the property when the land was farmed.

The St. Johns River Water Management District’s land management team is monitoring a trio of barn owl chicks in nesting boxes at the district’s Lake Apopka North Shore property.

“The chicks are four to five weeks old,” says Land Manager Maria Zondervan. “We maintain a number of owl boxes on the North Shore property to provide nesting habitats for owls that once nested on this property, back in the days when the area was farmed.”

The district’s restoration of these former muck farms — part of the ongoing restoration of Lake Apopka — has transformed this area into a haven for wildlife.  It’s just one of the extra benefits of the district’s work to restore and protect Florida’s water bodies.

“These owl chicks are living in one of our newer plastic boxes,” Zondervan says. “A few older ones are made of wood. We check the boxes using ‘peeper cameras’ on long telescoping poles.”

Learn more about our work to improve Lake Apopka North Shore’s water quality and habitat at

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