1993 was the last year a BUOW was found on a Citrus County Audubon’s CBC. A few BUOW may have been seen outside the CBC area and were talked about in the mid 1990’s but since this was before e-bird, the stories are anecdotal and not documented. These birds were located on 491 near W. Cardinal Drive and on Stage Coach Trail near Sugarmill Woods. There was also a reported BUOW on 486 near Brentwood. A lone BUOW was seen on N. Annapolis Ave. in Citrus Hills. All of these sightings were in the mid 1990’s. I visited all these sites and verified the sightings. I have not heard of a BUOW report in the last 20 years or more; that was until December 2020 when Jon Hoch and Tyson Miracle found a BUOW in a cow pasture adjacent to the new Oak Park North unit of the Withlacoochee State Forest. This cow pasture is near the M & B Dairy and can be reached following the blue blaze trail starting at the Cowpen Trailhead off 491 for about 1.5 miles.
I have always suspected that Citrus Count still had BUOW and those that existed were probably found on ranch lands that were inaccessible to birders. It was only a matter of time before BUOW were again reported in Citrus County. The property that Jon and Tyson were surveying when they found the owl is to the north of a past BUOW sighting off Stage Coach Trail near Sugarmill Woods. Thanks to Jon and Tyson and after three trips to this area and many miles walked, on March 13, 2021 I found a BUOW in this cow pasture where it was first reported in 2020. Ken Spilios