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Dam construction update, June 15: Visitors are no longer able to cross the outlet works. There will be no access to the Bittern Marsh Trail or east side of the river during this time.

 

There will be no access to the pavilion and Beaver Pond parking area on weekdays through July 3. These parking lots will be available for use on weekends. This will include the following areas and trails: Bittern Marsh, Redbud, Cicada, Green Dragon and Cottonwood Trails. Only the Blackjack will remain unaffected during this time. Access will not be available east of the pavilion at a later undetermined date. 

 

First Documented Burrowing Owl at LLELA

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Burrowing owlOwl species documented at LLELA already include Great Horned, Short-eared, Long-eared, Eastern Screech, Barred and Barn Owls. As of October 26, we can add a seventh owl species! LLELA Restoration Manager Richard Freiheit noticed an usual bird while working on the east side of LLELA, and contacted Director Ken Steigman. Dr. Steigman was able to confirm our first documented Burrowing Owl.

Burrowing Owls are unlike other owls in their habits. They are active during the daytime, spend a lot of time on the ground, and live in burrows they either dig themselves or take from other burrowing animals. They live in open habitats and feed on insects and rodents. Their numbers have declined dramatically as our prairies have vanished, along with their resident prairie dogs and ground squirrels.

Wintering Burrowing Owls may roost in tufts of vegetation instead of burrows. There is no reason to think this owl is doing anything more than passing through, as they are listed as a "casual" species for our area. But you can bet our staff and volunteers will be carefully watching for another encounter in the coming weeks to see if this individual decided to stay for the winter!