Great Horned Owl (Case History #3)

Brancher Great Horned Owl on golf course rejects rescue attempts

In 2004, a brancher Great Horned Owl was reported to be on the ground at a Shelby County, Alabama, golf course, not far from the Wildlife Center.  I found the bird at the base of a tree in an open grove surrounded by fairways. There was very little cover at ground level. One of the adult owls was perched in the canopy of a nearby pine tree, obviously guarding the juvenile. I used a small ladder to place the juvenile on the branch of a small dogwood tree, the only tree in the grove with branches within reach.  The next day the golf caddies called to say the bird was on the ground again.  I went back to check on the bird, and it was crouched next to a tree trunk right by the open fairway.  The adult bird was still visible, and the juvenile appeared to be perfectly healthy, so I decided to leave it alone.  I returned the next day just before dark, and found the juvenile had moved about 150 yards, from the open grove next to the fairway into a thick tangle of shrubs, small trees and a few large pine trees.  I could hear the young bird food-begging, and I could also hear the adult bird calling from the pine tree. I listened for awhile and then went home.

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