"Rescued" a Great Horned Owl - Update on page 4!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by akcountrygrrl, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. akcountrygrrl

    akcountrygrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, I know most of you wouldn't celebrate rescuing an owl but where I live, I would much rather have the owls around than the ravens. Anyways, here's the story...

    It started snowing here on Sunday so there is a nice dusting of white stuff on the ground. I took my daughter to the bus yesterday bright and early. Ok, so it wasn't bright but it was early. When I came back home, I decided to go back to bed for a couple of hours. I was rudely awoken about 45 minutes into my nap by those dang ravens screaming and carrying on. I looked out the window and saw two up in a tree next to my chick pen with a third sitting on the ground in front of the chick pen with a pile of feathers at its feet. I could have sworn I saw the feathers move. I ran out the door in my crocs grabbing my jacket as I went. I was thinking to myself "Crap!! They got one of my ducks!". Well, the ravens departed the area quickly (but didn't go far) and I walked up to the pile of feathers. It was moving (good sign - maybe). I thought it was odd that my net that I use to catch my birds was laying on the ground and the injured (?) bird was on top of it. As I approached, I realized that those big yellow eyes staring at me didn't belong to any of my ducks or any of my other birds for that matter. It was a Great Horned Owl. From what I can gather, he attempted to make a meal of some of my quail but got foiled by the cages they are in and managed to run "afowl" of my net. By this time, my crocs were full of snow and my feet were getting cold. I ran back into the house, swapped my crocs for boots, and grabbed my thick gloves.

    I proceeded back out to the hapless owl and managed to get all but one wing untangled from the net. It was going to take a bit more hands-on manuevering to get him out of there. I placed a heavier net over the owl to keep him from struggling and getting tangled back up in the net and I ran back into the house to grab a small fleece throw. Somehow, the owl managed to free his wing. I took both nets off him and he just sat there. He refused to fly off! He wouldn't even back away from me or try to get away. It was quite strange. Of course, by this time, the ravens had called in reinforcements. Now, rather than 3 ravens, there were 10 swooping, swirling, perching, and watching. [​IMG]

    I went off to do something else and the owl moved to another part of the yard but didn't leave. My Great Dane and I kept a close eye on it to see if it would fly off and to make sure the horrid ravens didn't get this beautiful bird. But, 30 minutes later, it was still there. So, I thought maybe it needed a higher place to take off from. I put the throw over its head, picked it up, carried it to the front yard, and put it on a fence rail. I waited a bit but again, it wouldn't fly off. The only thing it did was hop down to the ground and walk over to the edge of the trees. Ravens are still stalking him and I don't want the ravens around. By this time it had been about an hour since he was freed from the net and he showed no signs of leaving. I was getting cold and had other things to do besides protect him from ravens all day. So, I once again put the throw over his head, picked him up, and put him in an airline kennel. I then put the throw over that to minimize any stress and put the kennel in a quiet corner of a shed. The ravens finally went away, well, the majority of them did. My three regular delinquents came back periodically throughout the day but that's normal.

    I ended up driving an hour to take him to a vet that does wildlife rehabilitation. I'll be calling the vet today to get an update. I'll post pics later. Here's hoping he's okay. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
  2. 8ROYALS

    8ROYALS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    good for you...just a note...but the great horned owl may be one of you totem animals. I would look at all you could find on the bird...it is a good sign. I have a book on totem animals if you want to know what the great horned owl means let em know.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Oh, that's great! Owls are so beautiful. My dad rescued a great horned owl that had it's leg in a trap once. He was working in the oil fields--a young man at the time. He threw his coat over the owl, opened the leg trap, and uncovered the owl. It was a mature owl--very large wing span, and Dad watched it fly away. He said he'll never forget that.

    You're a hero! (Even if the owl would like a nice duck for dinner) [​IMG]
     
  4. akcountrygrrl

    akcountrygrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I was kind of starting to wonder about that myself. This is the second GHO I've rescued from ravens this YEAR. The first had been hit by a car and was sitting along the highway in knee deep snow. It was the ravens landing and swirling about that keyed me in to something being there. When I saw the tufted ears sticking up over the snowbank, I thought it might be an injured Lynx. It wasn't until I turned around and went back that I saw it was an owl. He took about 15 minutes of clambering about over/under trees in knee deep snow to catch. Unfortunately, he was too broken up for them to repair. But, a nice peaceful euthanasia is much preferable to being pecked/harrassed to death by ravens.

    This latest guy's been coming in at dusk quite regularly over the past 2-3 weeks. I also have a little Boreal Owl that comes in to visit during the day. He leaves the birds alone but drives off the ravens. He has a very sweet little call too.
     
  5. akcountrygrrl

    akcountrygrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Aww, thanks. I actually think the owl was trying for my quail. I believe he's a youngster as he wasn't terribly large yet. It's the dang ravens that'll take out the ducks.
     
  6. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    Good for you!!!
    Predators are just doing their job. I'm always in favor of rescuing them.


    I rescued a baby horned owl earlier this year for a rehab person who couldn't get to 'him'. Put it in my garage for the day, then at dusk put him in a tree near where he was found. We called him Hootie (real original, I know!) and he was soooo cute. He stared into my eyes as I carried him to the tree, and tried to climb back into my arms when I started to leave him in the tree.

    The next morning only a small bit of fluff showed where he had been.

    I do know that the parents wouldn't have returned to him if he'd been on the ground. They do not go on the ground. So maybe he just needed a safe tree to hide in for the day while he got over the shock. I hope your rehab person has good news for you soon!

    Me & "Hootie"
    [​IMG]
     
  7. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    North Texas
    Quote:Oh the cuteness!
     
  8. gettinaclue

    gettinaclue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is outstanding! I love owls. I think they are incredibly beautiful. We have one that lives somewhere around our house. He leaves our birds alone though, since their coop is covered with a regualr roof.
     
  9. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    They are very cute when they are being quiet. But when they clack their beak at you it sounds like they are about to take your finger off!!

    Poor Hootie had been chased by dogs & cats under a shrub. I know the ladies who called about him thought I was crazy when I put on goggles, but I didn't want to get poked in the eye while I was reaching for that clacking big baby bird!
     
  10. lleighmay

    lleighmay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bless you for saving him :) I've rehabbed several owls over the years under various permits/employments. It's nice to see them appreciated even if they would eat one of our chickens in a heartbeat. Raptors of all sorts are always welcome at my house regardless of their intent.
     

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