Owl Rescue

So, it turns out that our little buddy was quite ill.  Late Saturday afternoon we received two phone calls back from the rescue centers we had called.  The first told us that this kind of behaviour was normal for an owl & that perhaps he was just tired from a long night of hunting which would explain why he was hanging out low to the ground on our rocks.  This woman told us to keep an eye on the little fellow & if he was still there in the morning to call back.DSC_0198

The second call we received was much more helpful!  The second woman who called back said that our little buddy likely was quite ill.  She informed us that staying low to the ground was, in fact, NOT AT ALL normal behaviour for owls. She said that he likely had a head injury, possibly a concussion or a wing injury. Oh!  She asked Colin if he was still sitting on the rocks & whether or not he thought he could catch the owl.  As they were talking I went to check on the little guy again & he was gone!  I quickly searched the area around the deck but still didn’t see him.  We didn’t think he could have gotten far, but still, he was not where he had been.  I ran inside to tell Colin he was missing.  A second later, however, I spotted him in the yard.  Our little owl was attempting to hop/fly towards our cedar hedge.  The fact that he was not flying told us that he likely did have a wing injury.  Colin told the woman from the rescue center he would try to catch the owl & call her back.

We both wished she had called about 20 minutes sooner.  At that point, our little buddy still would have been on the rock & easy to catch.  By the time we got outside, he had made his way into the cedar hedge making it harder to reach him.  Colin headed into the bush to try to capture our friend.  Luckily our friends coming for dinner arrived at the same time & Corey helped Colin to finally secure our little guy (though not without screeching at Colin first).  Another phone call to the rescue woman & Colin & Corey were on their way to drop off our little buddy for rehabilitation.  Turns out he is a Screech Owl, which is appropriate given the screeching he did at Colin.  Lynn, the owl rescue woman was so appreciative that we had called her but also driven to meet her half way.  Colin said she reached into the box immediately for our little friend.  Oil Springs-20130420-00042

After they dropped him off & returned home, Lynn, the owl rescue woman, texted Colin to say that little owl was in bad shape.  Lynn informed us that he was emaciated & probably had not been able to hunt & therefore eat, for a couple of days.  He was too weak too fly & he had a wing injury as his right wing was drooping lower than his left.  Poor thing!  What we believe now is that he was trying to get to our cedar hedge for shelter & warmth.  Colin & I also feel that had Lynn not called us & had we not rescued him, our little owl might have died overnight.  Thank goodness we got to him!Oil Springs-20130420-00043

The best part of this whole story, I think, is that when he is well enough, Lynn will bring him back to our house to be released since that is his territory.  It might take a while for him to get better, but at least our little buddy is well on his way to recovery!

Our Backyard Wildlife

My husband & I have always seen a lot of wildlife in our backyard.  We’ve had bunnies, racoons, deer in the field behind us once, birds of all sorts, chipmunks, squirrels… you name it & we’ve likely had it.  This week, however, was really a week for animal watching.  It seemed like every day I was pulling my camera & zoom lens out to snap photos of our latest backyard visitors!

Early in the week, I saw the possum.  Colin has yet to see the guy as he only seems to come out when I am around.  I missed getting his photo but I’m not too sad about that because he is big & fat & ugly.  Have you ever come across a possum that was cute?  I don’t think so.  I’m afraid he may be the culprit who digs up around our shed, but I have yet to catch him in the act!

We have a number of bird feeders throughout our yard & we tend to refer to the birds around here as little piggies!  DSC_0183Some weeks, I think they could eat us out of house & home the feeder is emptied so quickly. Cardinals & Blue Jays are regular visitors to the feeders around here, both male & female.DSC_0154And as if our feeders didn’t get enough action, last weekend Colin bought two new finch feeders.  DSC_0155Well, since then its been a free for all here!  Even the squirrels & a bunny were hanging around underneath the feeders to pick up those seeds tossed out by the birds.  DSC_0162The yellow finches with their bright feathers seem so cheery, a sure sign that spring is on its way.  I am also looking forward to putting out the oriole & hummingbird feeders!DSC_0163We also have a woodpecker who I hear tapping away on the trees although today I caught him tapping away at the ground.  It looks frozen little guy – you had best try somewhere else. DSC_0212One day this week I came home to see a coyote roaming the field behind the house.  He was walking up & down the hedge line like there was something in there he was trying to get.  DSC_0144Coyote’s are not a usual sighting around here mind you.  I think I’ve seen one once before & heard them a few other times. DSC_0146 The coyote actually worked to my advantage in the summer.  The nephews were coming for the weekend & wanted to camp out in the backyard.  Colin wasn’t going to be home & I wasn’t real keen on setting up the tent & sleeping out there with them that particular night on my own. So, I told them I had heard the coyote out behind the house.  Well, that was enough to ensure we were sleeping inside!

Our visitor this morning, however, is one we have never had before.  I almost missed him in fact because he was blending in with the rock he was sitting on.  Our friend this morning was a little owl.DSC_0192 Now, Colin would probably correct me when I say “little owl”.  He doesn’t think the owl is so small, but what do I know?  I am not an owl expert.  He looks small to me.  And very cute. DSC_0184 He has perched himself on a rock outside of our bedroom window & really, I don’t mind him being there.  Perhaps he will stop all the other birds from flying into our windows…. which happens on an all too frequent basis!  Colin & I were standing at the window looking down at him, me snapping photos & he looked right up at Colin.DSC_0198Our new little buddy has us worried though.  We do not often see owls around our property & certainly never this close to our house.  He’s been sitting in the same spot now for around 5 hours.  He hopped over & positioned himself in the sun, but we’re worried that maybe he’s hurt or something.DSC_0218We have called a wildlife rescue to see how we should proceed.  Hopefully the little guy will be alright as he sure is cute!  DSC_0221