On Saturday, March 27th, the Alabama Wildlife Center recieved a call from a jogger that baby owls had fallen from their nest behind the Jewish Community Center in Birmingham. Our wonderful volunteers, Duane and Lynn volunteered to go pick the owl up and inspect the area to decide if a reunite was possible. When they arrived, they found that one of the babies was killed from the fall but the other nestling seemed fine.
Baby Raptor #6 of 2010
Almost immediately, they saw an adult Barred Owl fly in and land in a tree nearby. While inspecting the area, they noticed the cavity tree was completely rotten and would most likely fall during the next severe weather event so placing the baby back in the cavity would not be a good solution.
After a full exam at the Center, I returned to the nest site with Duane and Lynn, a ladder and a nest box, we hiked to the nest site and decided on a tree that was away from the trails and had a good understory.
Mom watching our every move
A new day, a taller ladder and a net helped us retrieve the other baby from the cavity. After putting the baby in the nest box and watching mom and dad for a while, we took our equipment back to our vehicles and went back to the area in a hidden spot to make sure the parents found their babies.
Baby in a bucket and Duan putting baby in the box
We glanced up to the cavity and there, peaking out, was yet another nestling Barred Owl! It is pretty unusual for Barred Owls to have a nest of 4 babies, especially in an area of constant foot, bike and dog traffic.
Nestling in the tree
We retrieve our ladder and net, climb back up and were lucky enough to get the nestling to grab onto the net, lowered down and placed in the nestbox with its siblings.
Trying to capture the baby
Dad roosting in a nearby Pine Tree
Raptor Rehabilitation Coordinator