It was on a large lot at the end of a cul de sac that backed up to a pasture that belonged to a neighbor not in our development.
We put a lot of sweat equity into the building of the house. After work, Adventure Man would go do the wiring. He would sometimes work late into the night, using only a headlamp to see his way.
Over the course of his work, Adventure Man noticed a car that would come each night and sit at the end of the street. The driver would sit in his car with a spotting scope. My husband felt there was something creepy about the situation and decided to investigate.
He approached the vehicle and said he couldn't help noticing the man's pattern and wondered what he was looking at? The man, enthusiastically shared that there was a Great-horned owl in the tree in the pasture just beyond our home and she was nesting!
|Mama Owl and her nest. Her's is the large one to the right. |
I'm sure who ever lived in the smaller one moved out as soon as an owl moved in next door!
Now my husband loves birding. He eagerly shared this man's excitement for the arrival of a new family member in this tree. Then the man confided in Adventure Man his plan. He came every night to see if the chick had hatched because he planned to climb the tree and take the chick so he could raise it. He was a licensed falconer, after all.
We have a dear friend, The Cowboy, who is a falconer. Now, if you are a falconer, there are two ways that you can acquire a bird. One is by catching it. The other is by taking it from the nest when it's young. But if you do so, you need to have the land owner's permission. Plus, you need a special license for an owl.
Once things were in motions, our would be bird-napper did try and rectify himself by asking the land owner, but their response was to please not remove the owlet from the nest. Because of this, he was also not grated his permit.
I know we disrupted this man's plans, but we have never regretted stepping in. And here's why: The chick hatched, just as we were moving in. Every time we were outside the little mother would hoot at us. A soft gentle sound. Not a warning. I told my girls she was saying, "Thank You!"
|The baby when he was still fluffy. I still have one of his feathers.|
We got to see her care for him. We got to see her fly off at night to hunt. And we got to see her teach him to fly. Adventure Man saw his first flight. Once he was grown he was much larger than his Mama. It is a wonderful memory for our family.
Shortly after that we moved to Montana and sold that house. But we will always remember our dear Mama Owl and her sweet thank you's.