Page:Auk Volume 13-1896.djvu/137

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THE AUK: A C^U ARTERL Y J OURNAL O F ORNITHOLOGY. vol. xni. April, 1896. no. 2, ON THE FLORIDA GROUND OWL (SPEOTYTO FLORI- DA NA ). By WILLIAM PALMER. Plate II Unique, even among the many unfamiliar birds that a northern visitor sees in Florida, it is not strange that this bird should be always known, wherever it is found, by the distinctive appellation that I have used above and not by the usual book name of Bur- rowing Owl. The habitat of the species lies some distance off the usual course of tourist travel, and to visit their haunts one has to tramp many miles over otherwise very uninviting prairie ; thus few visitors to Florida have ever seen the birds, and even among the residents very little information can be obtained regarding its distribution and habits. The Ground Owl is found in varying degrees of abundance throughout the central prairie portion of the southern half of the State, from Lake Kissimmee southward through the Kissimmee Valley. Westward its range extends as far as the prairies allow, even in the southwestern portion, to the vicinity of salt water. In some localities they are quite common, while elsewhere,