2015-10-15 / News

Local snowbird pens children’s book about owls

A new children’s book written by a Jamestown woman tells the story of a young burrowing owl and his uprooted family, and a portion of the sales will help protect the species in southwestern Florida.

Roseanne Pawelec is the author of “Ollie Finds a New Home,” which follows the young bird and his family as they search for a new underground home on Marco Island, Fla. The moral is that moving can be traumatic for young children, and there are positive life lessons about change. Pawelec, who spends the summers in Jamestown, lives on Marco Island during the fall and winter months.

Pawelec will donate $1 from every copy sold to the Community Foundation of Collier County, which administers a protection fund for burrowing owls. Proceeds will help volunteers erect signage and maintain fencing around the burrows.

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

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

The species is the only North American owl that nests underground, and Florida is the only state east of the Mason-Dixon Line where they live.

“As volunteers, 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,” said Jean Hall, a volunteer who helps protect the species. She says Pawelec’s book will help spread the word about protecting and preserving the charismatic population of owls.

“Ollie Finds a New Home” can be purchased online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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