Owl Rescue in our Back Yard

Two days ago I was in the back of our house, washing down the siding, when our little Beagle started barking repeatedly—like she does when she sees a chipmunk in our drain pipe and can’t catch it (she never does)…she just wouldn’t stop.  So I walked back intending to bring her in the house and to my surprise found a fluffy little owl staring at me with it’s big beautiful yellow eyes.  It didn’t move at all from the spot, so I took our Beagle inside and called the Humane Society.  They had me send a photo and they determined it was a juvenile “brancher” that might be in distress, and so had me call animal rescue to pick it up, which I did immediately.  I checked outside again, and the little guy was still in the same spot—didn’t seem injured from what I could tell, but not moving at all.  A little while later, two men came by to capture the owl and access whether it needed attention. 


Turns out it’s a juvenile Great Horned Owl that’s a “brancher”, which means he can’t fly quite yet and is practicing by jumping from branch to branch.  This little guy fell from the tree into our neighbor’s back yard where it got into some burrs and somehow made it over to our yard.


Here’s one of the volunteers, John, holding little “Owlie”.  He took him to the Humane Society for further assessment, to be cleaned up and fed.  Poor little thing had so many burrs in his feathers he couldn’t even spread his wings to help him get back up the tree (like Velcro).  So it was a good thing they came to rescue him.

The next day a team consisting of the caretaker from the Humane Society, an Arborist (Mike) volunteer, John, and a documenter came to “renest” little Owlie.  They told me that owls mate for life and are very protective and caring for their young.  And they told me that as soon as they put Owlie back in it’s tree, the parents would take care of him (or her—they say it’s difficult to tell with owls).  The mom and dad wouldn’t care that the little one had been handled by humans.  And sure enough, we saw both owl parents watching us carefully from a safe distance in the pine tree nearby.

Here a photo I took of the volunteer arborist climbing up the huge pine tree.


The caretaker from the Humane Society (who had taken care of him) is taking little Owlie out of the carrier…


One photo op before Owlie goes into the bucket…


Then up into the tree it goes!


Mike sets the owl safely on a large branch…and climbs back down. Can you see little Owlie looking down at him, just above his right shoulder?


Here’s a photo of the tree branch with Owlie sitting on it (see arrow). Owlie was very happy to be back home.


Here’s a final photo of Owlie safely in the tree, taken with my telephoto lens.  The parent owls were both close by watching over him/her.


This morning I heard hooting and went in the back yard with my binoculars in hand to see if I could find him.  To my delight, I did!  I found Owlie happily sitting on a different branch in a different tree, just looking around with his big yellow eyes.  By the time I went back inside to get my camera, I couldn’t find Owlie again—he had disappeared. 

If I get lucky enough to get another photo, I’ll be sure to post it….  so far, Owlie is just fine. For more information on Owl Rescue, see the article in the Wisconsin State Journal here.

Such excitement!  Somehow within the past few days I was able to accomplish some quilting.  I used the leftover 4-patch kaleidoscope blocks I originally made for the table runner (see the last post) to create a table topper (18” square) in a pinwheel design (using the Lil’ Twister Tool). It was so much fun!  I’ll share it with you next time.

Until then,

HAPPY QUILTING! (and bird watching!)


Mulberry Patch Quilts


4 thoughts on “Owl Rescue in our Back Yard

  1. Pingback: Owl Rescue Follow-Up: Owlie’s Progress | mulberrypatchquilts

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