October 22, 2021

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Excellent horned owl mom and dad dropped their child in a windstorm near Cheney. A rescuer reunited them and brought an added gift

Intense winds buffeted the woods close to Cheney on April 18.

The gusts whooshed via the trees, rocking them back again and forth and knocking a great horned owl nest out of its tree.

Most of the time getting blown out of a tree spells doom for a fluffy child owl still left stranded on the ground.

But this time, a regional landowner spotted a grey fluffball with fearsome yellow eyes and made some phone calls. The property proprietor known as Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, which recommended they call volunteer raptor rescuer Tina Penny.

Penny, who volunteers with West Valley Outside Discovering Heart and Birds of Prey Northwest, knew precisely what to do. She’s trained in dealing with hawks and owls and has saved about 25 raptors in the very last few of decades.

She took the owlet to her home for a couple of days and fed it mice – a lot of mice, about 10 for each day. Then she designed a makeshift substitution nest out of a laundry basket and pine boughs.

Up coming, Penny returned to the location where the owlet experienced been blown from its tree. She performed some terrific horned owl phone calls to see if the mom owl was nevertheless in the space. The mother flew from her hidden perch, so Penny realized the substitute nest could operate.

The adhering to day – Earth Day, April 22 – Penny returned to the nest website. She leaned a ladder up from a acceptable tree, climbed up high and secured the laundry basket nest with a ratchet strap.

She established up a activity digital camera to keep track of the nest, remaining the owlet in the basket with two mice to tide it above, and left.

When she arrived back the upcoming working day to test on the infant bird, the mother owl was on the laundry basket. The rescue procedure was a achievement.

“It’s a amazing sensation,” Penny mentioned. “I cried a bit.”

Penny has rescued raptors from quite a few diverse species – pink-tailed hawks, American kestrels and Cooper’s hawks, for instance. Fantastic horned owls are the raptors most usually displaced by robust winds.

That is for the reason that great horned owls do not make strong nests. They ordinarily don’t develop their personal nests at all, opting as a substitute for old nests built by other species, in particular crimson-tailed hawks.

Excellent horned owls are likely not to renovate all those adopted nests a great deal, so the building can be somewhat fragile. The nests basically aren’t great at withstanding robust winds.

“They never steal (nests) in the most fascinating locations,” Penny mentioned. “The wind storms are just wreaking havoc.”

The laundry basket nest could also help you save the life of another child good horned owl rescued in Idaho by Birds of Prey Northwest.

On Wednesday, Penny took the Idaho owlet and placed it in the nest in the vicinity of Cheney. It wasn’t a sleek procedure, for the reason that the wonderful horned owl dad and mom – the two the mom and father owl help increase the young – mobbed her in an exertion to scare her off. Penny wore goggles to ensure the birds couldn’t claw her eyes.

“Don’t mess with momma owls,” Penny mentioned.

Ultimately even though, she got the owlet from Idaho into the laundry basket nest. Wonderful horned owls – and most birds – are negative at distinguishing among their possess offspring and an unrelated nestling, so the moms and dads possible will feed the Idaho hen as if it were their individual.

Penny reported that even perfectly-that means folks should not check out to take care of raptors if they’re not trained. If you occur throughout an animal in will need of assist, you can go to Animal Aid Now’s web-site to come across a rescuer at https://ahnow.org/#/.