Great Horned Owl (Case History #5)

Young nestling Great Horned Owl that could not be reunited because of crows

A very young nestling Great Horned Owl was found on the ground on a golf course near Cullman, Alabama.  The finder was an employee of the golf course and had been watching the nest for some time.  He reported that a very large flock of crows had attacked the nest, and driven off the parents. Another nestling was found dead.  I questioned him about whether or not we could attempt to put up a substitute nest basket, but he said that the crows were still in the area, and were driving off the adult birds whenever they attempted to return to the nest.  It was clear that the owls had chosen a poor nest site.  In order to reunite them with their young nestling, the substitute nest basket would have to be located near the original nest.  This would force the owls to stay in the hazardous area around the first nest site, where the juvenile would probably not survive. With their nestlings gone, since it was very early in their breeding cycle, they would probably move to a safer location and start a second nest.   Since we had no other nests available at the time for fostering, the nestling was raised in a flight cage with an injured adult.

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