4/16/13

O is for Owl

Once we built our dream home in Utah.

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.

Mama Owl

We had a friend in the Fish and Game Department and he said that no one had gotten a license for an owl. He checked the individual in question and confirmed that although he was a registered hawker, he did not have the license for an owl. He also didn't have the land owner's permission. The F and G Dept. decided to put a camera in the tree (pointed down) so if anyone did try to take the baby he could be identified.

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.

Rurality Blog Hop #8
















11 comments:

  1. Love your Owl post and have had a peek at your other AtoZ's. Looks like you're having a wonderful Challenge, great posts and pics.
    I popped in as you're currently number 1000 on the list!

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    1. Thanks form coming around! It's been a lot of fun!

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  2. What terrific shots! My kids would've loved to see the owl nesting - we spent a lot of time watching those online bird cams last spring! Happy WW!

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    1. Thank you, it was a neat summer.

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  3. Okay, have you read the book "Owl Moon"? It's a children's book. Anyway, my dad read this to us when we were little many times, and we even went "owling" on many an occasion (and never saw a doggone thing).... now there's an owl who occasionally graces our yard (I've heard him, but never actually seen him).

    Anyway, that's what your post made me think of! haha.

    Swinging by from A-Z.

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    1. I don't think I have read that but I will look for it! Thanks for the suggestion. I'm sorry you never got to see an owl when you were young. We are very lucky!
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. I just don't understand why someone would want to take a wild animal for their own...permit or not.

    And not only do I live up the road from where you grew up, I also lived in Utah. Small WOrld.
    Happy O!

    And I second the above- Owl Moon is an excellent book :)

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    1. I agree. It makes me sad. We do have a friend out here who rescues birds of prey, but the company she created tries to get them back in the wild. Those birds who can't be rehabilitated she brings to schools and educates students. It's a wonderful program. She comes to the ranch every spring too. I was going to add her story to this, but it was too long. Another post coming soon!

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  5. I love owls, but I can't imagine trying to keep one. New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge and I look forward to visiting again.

    Sylvia
    http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you and welcome, Sylvia! I look forward to getting to know you better!

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  6. Wonderful blog and photos ~ love the owl ~ ^_^

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Thanks, Y'all for sharing your thoughts! I'm love'n hear'n from ya!