Welcome!

By registering with us, you'll be able to discuss, share and private message with other members of our community.

SignUp Now!

I rescued a baby owl.

Sloppy Mexican

Elite
Founder
Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
621
I have a healthy population of screech and great horned owls in my neighborhood that live in the live oaks. They are very cool to watch and listen to. We had a very windy night early this week and one of the new generation from our breeding pair of great horned fell out of the nest.

I was able to build a nest out of a plastic shopping basket and have enjoyed feeding the little fella cubed venison and fresh squirrel meat for the past couple days.

I decided mama would do a better job raising the baby so I strapped the basket nest to a nearby tree so parents could keep feeding it. I’m monitoring closely in case I need to step in further.
B33609EF-621D-4A9C-9DE7-F99933F98082.jpegFB69AAD6-B9CE-4FB7-8F85-D16969BD72BA.jpeg2720EF6B-E390-46EC-A73B-A07D7D20A038.jpeg
 

Sloppy Mexican

Elite
Founder
Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
621
Well that is awesome. You should keep it and have the baddest pet on the board. Although owls are extremely dirty and gross.
That thought crossed my mind, so I did research. You have to have a license to keep raptors and I’m not going down that road. It would be cool to imprint on the owl a little bit so it will let me occasionally feed it once it is an adult.
 

LVRebel

GIF specialist
Founder
Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
2,954
I have a healthy population of screech and great horned owls in my neighborhood that live in the live oaks. They are very cool to watch and listen to. We had a very windy night early this week and one of the new generation from our breeding pair of great horned fell out of the nest.

I was able to build a nest out of a plastic shopping basket and have enjoyed feeding the little fella cubed venison and fresh squirrel meat for the past couple days.

I decided mama would do a better job raising the baby so I strapped the basket nest to a nearby tree so parents could keep feeding it. I’m monitoring closely in case I need to step in further.
View attachment 5285View attachment 5286View attachment 5287
Nice work OP, that's very cool. And great pics. That's a awesome looking bird. I had a similar experience with a much smaller bird a few years ago.

One early evening, my wife brought home a baby bird that she found in the park. There are cats and coyotes all over in that area at night, and she found it right at twilight. Maybe should have left it there in case the parents were around, but once she brought it home, we adopted it. We fed it, taught it how to search for worms in the soil once it grew a little, etc, then once it was old enough, we put it out in one of our covered planters in the back yard. It would be able to find some food to feed on in the planter, and also have some cover to protect it from hawks and owls.

It had a pretty unique call, which I was able to somewhat mimick, and it came to know me well. For the next weeks/months, it lived like this out in the back yard. I could go out there, sit in the chair, and whistle to it, and it would fly over and land on my hand or shoulder. It was actually really cool. This was a smaller bird, obviously not a big owl or anything, otherwise it probably would have terrified me. 😅

Eventually, I believe it hurt it's wing somehow, and didn't make it, but it was pretty cool interacting with it like this.
 

Sloppy Mexican

Elite
Founder
Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
621
Have the parents come back yet? Or when did you put that nest back outside?
Just hung it up two evenings ago about 15 yds from the original nest, I was able to recognize brothers and sisters calling to approximate nest location.

Parents are definitely close by, seen them hunting, and I think are feeding my owl in the middle of the night. I haven’t witnessed this, but my owl isn’t calling early in the morning, assuming that means it has a full belly.

My wife has a friend who is an ornithologist, she said parents know exactly where baby is. She wanted me to rent a bucket truck and put baby back in it’s nest, but that shit ain’t happening. If mama won’t feed it, I will.
 

tiderollsonu

A man from Nantucket
Founder
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
5,841
Just hung it up two evenings ago about 15 yds from the original nest, I was able to recognize brothers and sisters calling to approximate nest location.

Parents are definitely close by, seen them hunting, and I think are feeding my owl in the middle of the night. I haven’t witnessed this, but my owl isn’t calling early in the morning, assuming that means it has a full belly.

My wife has a friend who is an ornithologist, she said parents know exactly where baby is. She wanted me to rent a bucket truck and put baby back in it’s nest, but that shit ain’t happening. If mama won’t feed it, I will.
get a cheap trail cam from Amazon, like $50
 

LVRebel

GIF specialist
Founder
Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
2,954
OP in a month
iu
 

hmt5000

Legendary
Founder
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Messages
6,274
Well that is awesome. You should keep it and have the baddest pet on the board. Although owls are extremely dirty and gross.
I had an uncle that had a pet owl. It was awesome for awhile but it got kinda nasty once it got older. He had a few Hawks as well and he ended just turning the owl loose because it was a dick.

FWIW. Harris hawks are awesome to watch hunt.
 

Sloppy Mexican

Elite
Founder
Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
621
Update: yesterday evening was pretty eventful. I saw another baby owl up in the tree confirming original nest site.

my neighbor pulling into his driveway last night and saw a large owl perched on the basket nest I made. Seems like parents are still very much caring for the rescued bird.
 

Sloppy Mexican

Elite
Founder
Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
621
Update for the LNC. I upgraded the basket nest to include an interior perch that allows the little guy to see his surroundings instead of being deep in the basket all the time. I saw his sibling hopping around on a branch near the nest yesterday and my guy needs to be on a similar development path. He can still get low in the basket to stay warm.
When I put the perch in I saw a variety of bird feathers which tells me mama is providing food. I think we might be close to being out of the woods now that I’ve confirmed parents are actively feeding.
My neighbor snapped this pic while nest upgrades were happing. check out talons on my glove.
71618E32-86CD-4FB0-B592-29005FF62F43.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Sloppy Mexican

Elite
Founder
Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
621
Afternoon owl update:

Went to check on him (or her) today with the primary goal of cleaning out the nest. I figure its been almost two weeks since the rescue and a lot of bird shit has probably accumulated. Yeah, I was right.

Got him out of the nest and put him on the ground to be able to move around a bit while I changed out pine straw. Found a headless bird in the nest that mama had obviously delivered, but did not get eaten. This is a positive and a negative, mama brought food but didn’t stay long enough to make sure baby ate? Did baby just miss it? This confounds me.

I breasted the bird and fed baby.

My neighbor’s daughter, who found the owl, was offered naming rights. Since she thought the owl was an abandoned puppy when she saw it, the owl will be referred to as “Puppy” moving forward.

Puppy’s feathers are starting to come in well for the most part. The large pin feathers on the wings and tail feathers are my primary concern. Those don’t come in, we have a problem. I want this bird flying in the nest few weeks, no feathers would be a big setback for Puppy’s survival chances.

More updates soon....

3A1BE2C9-6220-4A3F-B462-737E99C6BAFB.jpeg62AB606B-6633-4AA8-9F2F-FD1346CCFC15.jpeg9E58A6EB-1B7B-4FF0-88FD-8563CCCBB7AB.jpeg
 

Sloppy Mexican

Elite
Founder
Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
621
That thing is never gonna leave, you should be successfully planting gardens in the future with no rabbit/squirrel issues
We’ve already got a very healthy owl population and seem to have an abundance of squirrels. We also have huge bird numbers, and I believe the birds are the owls primary prey. My first garden at this house will go in this spring.
In which state do you live @Sloppy Mexican ?
Alabama
 

PawPower1981

I love those 👩🏻‍🦰
Founder
Joined
Jan 10, 2021
Messages
1,003
We’ve already got a very healthy owl population and seem to have an abundance of squirrels. We also have huge bird numbers, and I believe the birds are the owls primary prey. My first garden at this house will go in this spring.

Alabama

yeah my neighborhood is a bird sanctuary...owls, bald eagles, osprey and giant woodpeckers. My cat takes care of the squirrels tho
7C25741A-5FA5-4C8E-B28A-47E3C9047905.jpeg
 

shiv

John
Administrator
Founder
Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2020
Messages
13,700
yeah my neighborhood is a bird sanctuary...owls, bald eagles, osprey and giant woodpeckers. My cat takes care of the squirrels tho
View attachment 6055
My fuckin cat catches birds, moles, squirrels and chipmunks and sets them loose ALIVE inside the house. I had a pair of leather gloves set aside in the house specifically for catching wild animals. We finally ended his outside privileges though
 
Top Bottom