Saturday, February 18, 2012

And An Owl In A Pear Tree

Once upon a time we received a phone call from a woman who had an Owl in her pear tree. This owl, she claimed, “must have been injured,” because she had seen it in nearly the same place both the day before as well as today and she was afraid to go outside because of it. We did our best to explain that even if there was something wrong with the owl it wouldn’t pose a threat to a grown adult while it was in a tree and we tried to gather more information from her as to what more was going on to give us an idea if there really could be something wrong with it.

After a short time it was obvious that the caller was coming at the situation from a much different place than we were and was unwilling to provide us with anymore of the information we needed.

The following day, the adult children of this same woman called and tried to tell us the same story of the owl in the pear tree. When I encouraged them to approach the tree to gather more information the same as I had suggested the previous day however, the owl flew away just fine!

The reason I share this story is just an excuse to talk about the fact that baby season is just around the corner and the earliest babies are already being prepared for by their Great Horned Owl parents!

Each year we admit as many as half a dozen or more “owlets” because of strong spring storms and poorly built nests. This is the situation that Dakota was faced with when he was a youngster. As much as he has become a part of the Wildlife In Need Center and who we are over his 11 years with us, his true and ideal place would have been the freedom of living as a wild owl. Because he was taken from his family that blustery spring day rather than brought to a rehabilitator who could’ve reunited him with his family like we do with the owlets we admit, he will never live that life.

Just a reminder that when you find an animal you think needs help, make your first step a positive one and contact your local wildlife rehabilitator before you do anything else!

This puff-ball can't get back up into his parents' nest without a little assistance. This is not a safe place for someone like him to be so if you see this situation, give us a call
An experienced volunteer is gently gathering up the owlet to bring to the Center for evaluation. Once we've determined that there are no injuries we will send out re-nesting volunteers and staff to reunite the babies with their family.
Owlets that are a little larger and more feathered like this one are called "branchers." These little guys may be capable of hoping and gliding enough that if found on the ground they could get back up into the lower branches on their own. If they can't do so in a reasonable amount of time however, always call a rehabilitator for advice 

An Owl Re-nesting Volunteer climbs the tree armed with a new "nest" to install for the owl family
Thank you for caring!

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