Two Great Horned Owl reunites in two weeks!
We’ve had the opportunity to return two baby Great Horned Owls to their families recently. With the first baby, we were unable to locate the nest, so we had to settle for a secure perch in the tree he was found beneath. One perch was reachable with a tall ladder, and the baby, a male about 43 days old, was placed safely within it. Then the vigil began – waiting for the parents to appear, while we played a recording of a baby’s hunger cry to attract them. No luck that night, or the next morning at dawn, or the next night and morning. FINALLY the mother was spotted the next night and was clearly feeding the baby. Success!!
But then another baby GHO came in from Rutherford and the process started again. This time it took two days to find the nest. It couldn’t been seen from directly under the huge eucalyptus, but had to be viewed from a distance off. Once we got the right angle, there was a sibling and one parent guarding it while the other hunted. So both good and bad news. We found the right tree, but the most workable spot to place the baby was approximately 30 feet up. A ladder wasn’t going to cut it this time. But fortunately we were able enlist the help of Brad from the BirdRescueCenter in Santa Rosa, and he brought Merlin, a trained climber. Merlin used a giant slingshot to get his rope around a large, high branch and in no time was up to the spot. Then up came the baby, a young female, who was soon transferred from the carrier to the tree. It was great to see those beautiful big eyes checking out home territory once again.