Eastern Screech Owl (Case History #3)

Orphaned brancher from North Alabama fostered to Shelby County Screech Owl family

On May 10, 2005, a brood of three young Screech Owls near Laceys Spring, in Morgan County, somehow fell to the ground, where two of the three birds were killed by dogs.  The remaining juvenile was rescued by the daughter of the dog owner, who kept the bird until the 16th, feeding it soaked dog chow. By the time the bird arrived at the Alabama Wildlife Center, it was weak and listless from almost a week of poor nutrition.  The bird was offered a whole animal diet of minced, gutted mouse, and within a few days its condition improved.  After a week of nurturing, on May 24, the young owl was close to fledging, and Raptor Intern Jessie Leonard took it to the Shelby County location where the brancher described in Case 2 had been reunited with its family on May 18. Jessie placed the owl in an open cardboard box in the same location as the other juvenile, and again played the recorded calls.  This time the Screech Owl family approached within about 15 minutes, and Jessie was able to spot one of the adults as it swooped by in the dusk. When she went to the box to get the brancher, it had already made its way out of the box and disappeared into the darkening woods.

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