Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hooos Out There!

In 2009, the Wildlife in Need Center was involved in eleven rescues of baby Great Horned owls, or owlets as they are called. Owlets often have to be rescued when the strong winds of late March and early April blow. Great Horned owls do not build their own nests, but take over old crow and squirrel nests and if those nests are in disrepair, it is very easy for an owlet to tumble out, especially when it is windy. An owlet on the ground is especially vulnerable to predators as they are unable to fly. Crows can often be heard “cawing” when there is an owl in the neighborhood. There is nothing they would like better than to pick on an unsuspecting grounded owlet. Usually if someone from the public is aware of owls in their yard and if a tragedy like this would occur, they will call and notify the Center.

To satisfy my curiosity about owl activity in the area this year, I called many of the rescue locations from the previous year. I’m happy to report, that over half of the contacts to date are reporting a lot of hooting. Several individuals have seen adult owls in trees in their yards. Great Horned owlets have even hatched at some locations. Follow this link to the WE-Energies website There you can see two owlets snuggling under the feathers of its mother at 3PM today. At the Center last year, we rescued owlets from late March to late April. In my next blog, I’ll write more about the renesting process. I’ll leave you with this picture, courtesy of a homeowner from one of last year’s re-nesting sites. These two owls are nest mates shown shortly after they fledged last year.

-KF (aka CBL)

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