Eastern Screech Owl (Case History #5)

Fledgling Screech Owl fostered to family with fledglings in Cahaba Heights

A fledgling Screech Owl was brought to the Alabama Wildlife Center from a rural area near Wilsonville, in Shelby County, Alabama, on May 9, 2005. Unfortunately, the exact whereabouts of the nest site could not be traced.  The bird was perfectly healthy, and needed no medical care.   Just a few days earlier, a young fledgling Screech Owl had been returned to its parents on a suburban estate in Cahaba Heights, Alabama, after being found on the front porch of the house. (Case 4)

The orphaned owl from Wilsonville instinctively conceals itself after being placed on the branch of the tree

On May 14, Linda Horton and I took the Wilsonville fledgling to the Cahaba Heights location. The two fledglings of the Cahaba Heights family had moved from the nest tree to a row of small crabapple trees on the property, and when we played the recorded food-begging calls, the adult birds were observed almost immediately.  The orphaned juvenile was placed on a branch in the same row of crabapples.  Unfortunately, the frightened juvenile made a short flight which took it dangerously close to the road, so it was recaptured and taken back to the crabapples.  This time the bird settled down on the branch, and we were able to leave the Screech Owl family to integrate the fledgling into the family unit.

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