Saturday, May 19, 2012

Babies and more babies.................

Here is an updated (sort of) photo of the orphan Great Horned owls we are raising.  There are even more recent ones, but I'll post them later. They are growing fast.  Aren't they adorable.
 We've named them Dandylion and Sweet Pea.  They are self feeding now and learning that they are owls and not people.  It wasn't hard, since we have two of them and  they now have  a foster Great Horned owl mom helping them learn what it means to be an owl.

This time of year, here in most western states, young Great Horned owls are 'branching'.  They are getting out of the nest and practicing getting around in their' tree or cliff nest.  Some will end up on the ground, but if uninjured, they climb right back up to the branches.  They are great climbers, so don't intervene if you see one on the ground next to a large tree and a parent is nearby in the tree, as they are watching.  Injury would be the only reason to intervene at this stage.  Being orphaned is also a problem, but one truely needs to be sure there is NOT a parent nearby.  Again, this only applies to older chicks


Feathered brothers and sisters, you came to us broken and as you bled…….we saw you desperate, dehydrated, desiccated, diseased, distressed, emaciated, famished, frayed, frightened, helpless, hungry, ragged, ravenous, shaken, shocked, shot, sickly, stressed, stunned, tattered, thirsty, traumatized, torn, weary and wounded. Defiantly, you stood us off with your last breath as we tried to tend to you. We saw you come in as cute, naked, fuzzy, cuddly youth, as mischievous, defiant adolescents, as fierce, regal rulers of the sky and as cunning, maimed elders whose time on earth was almost done. You endeared yourselves to us, bit us, charmed us, footed us, delighted us, hissed at us, talked to us, mantled at us, and graced us with your presence.

Some of you mended and were able to go on your way, never looking back. Some of you were injured in ways that prevented you from going, so you stayed with us to teach us…….And we came to love you. Others were too far gone, and you went home - where you fly free from pain with the Great One. All of you have touched us, and we are changed because of you.

used with permission by Arlene Powers