Our First Wildlife Rescue

Late Sunday morning, I was wiping the kitchen counter and thinking about what I would do with Claire that day. We were getting a late start and had not gone to church. In my left eye’s peripheral vision I noticed motion. I looked over, and there sat a little Western Screech Owl on a table next to Claire’s play house. Our neighbors have a huge evergreen tree, and at night I’ve heard owl hoots on occasion.

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I gasped a little. He was tiny! And gorgeous. I grabbed my camera and carefully moved to the screen door. I took photos through the screen. He lifted his wings and flapped once, going nowhere. I crept closer and slid the screen door open. He didn’t move. I snapped more photos. I took a step closer. He just… sat. I said hello. One wing hung a little askew. I thought: He’s injured or sick.

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Then Claire came out, and I said, “Be very quiet, and look! Watch the owl while I get the pet carrier.” I hurried to the garage to fetch it, and when I returned, he was still there. Claire talked softly to him, telling him how beautiful he was. I grabbed leather gloves from my garden chest and put them on. Then I moved slowly to him, expecting him to fly, or try to get away, or fight. He didn’t move a feather.

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So I gently lifted and put him into the cat carrier. While I called the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley to learn their hours, Claire crooned to and told him stories. She named him Tecolote. We arrived at the center and they took him in, saying we could call the next day to learn what happened. Claire was very proud to help rescue the owl.

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I called this morning. He has no injuries or illness. He’s just young! Barely past fledgling stage at 146 grams. He’s gripping with his feet, has good tail control, is eating, is pecking at handlers (good defenses). They’ll keep him awhile longer to ensure he has the skills to survive and release him!

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Explore posts in the same categories: Education, Journal, Nature

2 Comments on “Our First Wildlife Rescue”

  1. Mom/Grandma Says:

    With a lot of fascination, I watched the course of this on the FB postings but this blog entry tops it all!

    A “nature experience” like this is a First Class event in a child’s life; Claire will always cherish it, I believe, with love and satisfaction.

    PBS did a program on Owls just last week; they’re so interesting!!!

  2. Kathryn Says:

    Aw, I wish we could see the owls program! I love them too.

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