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Rescuers Do The Nicest Thing For A Baby Owl Who Got Separated From His Family



It was the middle of Spring in Massachusetts and baby owls were just starting to hatch. Unfortunately for this little guy, he was already off to a rough start. Somehow, he had managed to have fallen out of his nest and was unable to get back up by himself. Luckily, a group of kind-hearted individuals put their efforts together to make things right for this baby bird.

On that morning, executive director Stephanie Ellis of Wild Care Cape Cod received a call about a baby owl on the ground. The group is dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating wild animals in the area so they immediately sent out one of the group’s volunteers to assist.

“It was a baby great horned owl, only about 10 days old,” Ellis said. “This owl was way too young to be on the ground, so we had our volunteer bring him in to do an assessment.”

The fluffy baby bird was found by Shane Gleason who just so happened to be working on the property that day. Upon coming across the tiny creature, he encouraged the homeowner, Carol Threatt, to give Wild Care a call.

It was Elena Calabrese who responded to the call, quickly transporting the baby owl to Wild Care to be looked over.

“He was healthy, but a little dehydrated,” Ellis said. “We out him into an incubator and provided hydration fluid.”

Fortunately, the owlet appeared to still be in good shape despite the long fall from his nest. While the bird was receiving overnight care, Ellis made sure to maintain his naturally nocturnal eating time.

Owls eat primarily rodents, many of which are also nocturnal and only come out at nighttime. Thus, prey is more readily available for owls to eat at night which is when they’re most likely to hunt food and eat meals.

Once Ellis had nursed the baby owl back to optimal health, her main priority became to return him to his parents as soon as possible.

“Baby owls imprint on people very easily,” she said. “So I went out with a rescue volunteer to the location where the bird was found.”

Ellis and Elena returned to the home where the owl was found in hopes to locate the nest he had fallen out of. The homeowner pointed out a nest up in a tree, almost 40 feet above the ground, where grown-up owls had been flying in and out of.

“Being such a tiny baby, he couldn’t have gone far, so I felt pretty confident that this was the nest,” Ellis said. “Our mission was to get this baby back into the nest.”

Getting the baby back up in his nest was going to be easier said than done. They’d need some serious help.

As it turns out, one of the volunteers at Wild Care has a son who is an Arborist for a local landscaping and tree services company. He was more than willing to lend a helping hand.

“They were just amazing. They had a truck nearby,” Ellis said. “Within just a couple of hours, they were able to meet us.”

He placed the baby owl inside of a box and, using his cherry picker truck, lifted the baby bird up and carefully placed him back in his nest.

“It was the most ideal situation. It was wonderful,” Ellis said. “As they were working, they saw an adult owl flying by. That was a good sign.”

After finally getting a chance to see the nest up close and personal, they were delighted to find another baby owl in the nest.

“I was so worried that they would get all the way up there and see it wasn’t the nest, or that there were dead chicks in the nest.” Ellis said, “Instead, there was a sibling surrounded by lots of food. Their dad must be a good provider.”

After having visited the location daily since the accident, Ellis believes that the owls chance at a normal life has been restored.

“It looks like everything is going well,” Ellis said. “It took a village, but we made it happen (and in a short period of time). It is so satisfying.”


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