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WildCare is attempting to reunite a family of Great Horned Owls. Two owlets fell from their nest in the trees above.
At this age, these young owls are considered "branchers", meaning they are exploring out of the nest and practicing hop-flying on the branches nearby. This is a precarious stage for young owls, as they can't yet fly, and a gust of wind or a misstep can cause them to tumble to the ground.
They often don't injure themselves in these falls, but WildCare always wants to give them a full medical exam to make sure they're healthy enough to go back. Also, although Great Horned Owlets can climb trees (using their beaks and sharp talons), this area in Fairfax is busy with pedestrians and dogs, so allowing these owlets to make their own way back up the tree isn't safe.
These two owlets got a clean bill of health in WildCare's Wildlife Hospital, and we're sending them back to their parents, who have been spotted bringing prey and otherwise providing excellent care for them.
A volunteer arborist will place a basket nest high in the trees above and place the owlets in it. Our Raptor Reunite Team will then monitor the nest to make sure the babies are being fed, and to rescue them if they fall again.
If you see an owlet on the ground, please don't touch him. Keep people and dogs away, and immediately call WildCare at 415-456-7283 or Marin Humane at 415-883-4621.
These baby owls will grow up, learn to fly, and eventually find their own territories.
About WildCare and Reuniting Wildlife
WildCare is the Wildlife Hospital and nature education center in San Rafael. Each year we treat approximately 3,500 ill, injured and orphaned wild animals in our Wildlife Hospital, and many of those patients are baby animals like these owlets. WildCare's Living with Wildlife Hotline is available from 9am - 9pm at 415-456-7283.
Whenever possible, WildCare tries to return healthy baby animals back to their parents' care. Did you grow up thinking a wild animal (especially a bird) wouldn't take her baby back after a human touched it? That's NOT true! WildCare successfully reunites dozens of baby animals every year, from many different species.
Wild animals are excellent parents, and, as long as a baby is healthy and warm, it is always worthwhile to try to return a baby animal to her mother's care.