Barred Owl (Case History #5)

Orphan nestling swapped for blind nestling using a nest basket

A homeowner in a Birmingham suburb found an older nestling Barred Owl on the ground in his wooded back yard. Upon examination at the Wildlife Center the juvenile was found to be  Brancher in tree   congenitally blind, and had to be euthanized. The next day, I searched the backyard for signs of other juveniles, but found none. The adult owls could be seen perched high in some deciduous trees on the slopes of a steep, wooded ravine directly behind the house. I had brought an orphaned nestling Barred Owl of approximately the same age with me to replace the blind juvenile.  I installed this bird in a nest basket as close as possible to where the blind nestling had been found.  Both adult Barred Owls were immediately attracted to the nest, and thereafter could be seen at all times of day perching protectively above the nest, or bringing food to the nestling. This was several years before we began using the recorded calls, but since the adults had been watching me install the nest basket with the nestling, no calls were needed.

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