Monday, April 28, 2008

Branching out

Late April in NJ is when one might expect young GH Owls to begin exploring outside the confines of their nests. They're not yet able to fly, but are too big to sit still in their nests so begin to *branch* in nearby trees and test their wings until their flight feathers come in. This one was found tonight on someone's deck and the smart people who found it called the police. (Wouldn't have been my first call, but whatever!)

The DH picked it up (and got footed for his trouble), took it off to a local vet to be sure it was okay, stopped home to pick up the photographer (me!) and it was back in this birch close to its nest tree within an hour or so.

Have a look at those feet!


Rabbits' Guy said...

Isn't that a HOOT?

There are many owls here, but also mostly big firs and cedars. It is very hard to ever spot one unless on a fence post at night!

It must be great to see them frequently ....

Anonymous said...

I'd say they were cute toes... but know they could rip me up pretty well.

Anonymous said...

How cool! Owl Rescue 911!

Ruth said...

Wow! What an exciting evening. I never see owls even though I know they are around here. Great photo.

bobbie said...

Wonderful picture! I've never been that close to an owl.

Dr. Know said...

When I was a twenty something, a barred owl flew across the road in myopic pursuit of prey and hit my car fender instead. Knocked it cold. And like a bleeding heart nature freak, I stopped and picked it up, took it home, and nursed it back to heath. (Wildlife rescue centers were unheard of.) I used to have a picture of it sitting on my hand, but it was destroyed by a bunch of local NeoCon arsonists/Insurance frauds.

Needless to say, I wore very thick leather gloves while handling. It was released in the back 40 a few days later, where it continued to live for at least a season. Don't see many owls these days. The screech owls are completely gone. There is but one or two barred owls in the area, but they have totally ignored the 40lb nesting box I climbed 35 feet into a tree to hang. Ungrateful little shits.
This is my owl nesting box.
And visit here for some pretty neat views of owls, their sounds, and their offspring via the Owl Cam

robin andrea said...

Great story and a grand rescue. Look at that baby. What a beauty.

dguzman said...

I like his little facial expression, like "excuse me?"

mon@rch said...

Amazing photo and so great seeing that you found this guy/gal like this! They are such great Owls!

KGMom said...

Oh how interesting that they get too big for the nest, but aren't really ready to leave! Hmmm--I can think of several analogies here.

LauraHinNJ said...

Rabbit's Guy: They're not easy to spot, but are easy to hear in the neighborhood. Just last night there was quite a bit of hooting around 2 am.

Anonymous: Yeah cute... but dangerous!

Liza: Yeah, pretty neat.

Ruth: I think the secret is to be up in the middle of the night listening.


Bobbie: Have you ever visited the Raptor Trust in North Jersey? Really neat place if you have the chance for a visit.

Dr. Know: Getting hit by cars is pretty common, sadly. Neat that it was okay and that you were enough of a nature freak to let it go.


That is one humungous nest box - holy crap! Too bad it's not been used.

The OwlCam site is great - I followed it for years and was really sad to see that he lost that pair of owls... at least the last I checked it he had. Thanks for the reminder!

LauraHinNJ said...

Robin: Yeah.. pretty baby. lol!

Delia: He was kinda pissed and clacking his bill at us.

Monarch: They are, yeah.

KGMom: That's the case with a lot of birds actually. Dangerous time for them.

RuthieJ said...

Yikes, Laura, those talons and beak look like they could do some serious damage to human (or other) flesh! I'm glad the little owl was OK.