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Old 12-23-2017, 11:31 AM
 
Location: NW Indiana
41,051 posts, read 15,836,752 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
Feel crazy...now there are 2 this am...
LOL! Now there are 3 in there!

I'm glad they're coming and going. Safety in numbers and all.


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Old 12-23-2017, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Kanada (*v*)
121,047 posts, read 14,889,726 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJSinger View Post
LOL! Now there are 3 in there!

I'm glad they're coming and going. Safety in numbers and all

There is no place like home
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Old 12-23-2017, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,091 posts, read 6,884,296 times
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I thought they usually left for good...maybe since they are late brood that makes a difference..?

Soon they'll be too big to all get back on there...

Merry Christmas, baby owls, thanks for sharing your life.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:11 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ~🌄 ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️🌄~
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Perhaps there's a bit of confusion about what a fledgling owl is and what it does. The leaving and returning of most species of fledgling owls is normal for the first few days. When fledglings first leave the nest they are unable to fly, they don't have all of their flight feathers fully developed yet, they are incapable of hunting and are still dependent on their parents for food. Until such time as they have become well-practised fliers and have started learning to catch their own food they will repeatedly return to the nest or to branches very nearby to be fed by the parents and to take naps (they still need to sleep a lot at this stage).

At this phase they spend a lot of time repeatedly falling to the forest floor and then climbing up and down branches and tree trunks. They are strengthening their leg, wing, chest and neck muscles and flapping their wings and practicing, practicing and practicing leaping from the heights to try to take to the air and tumbling down to lower branches or to the ground. For a while they will be falling again and again to the forest floor and repeating the strenuous climbing and practice flights over and over again until they become successful at staying in the air. All this time the parents still feed them and the owlets will return to the safety of the nest only from time to time either to be fed or to sleep together in a sheltered place.

If there were cameras set up outside around the area of the nest box you could see all this other frantic activity going on now. When the owlets no longer return to the nest box for several days in a row it can probably be safely assumed that they have graduated to flying better and sleeping together in the tree branches nearby. And for a short while longer the parents will still be supplementing the food they catch for themselves for just a bit longer until they have become more independent. Then they will no longer be fledglings, they will be juveniles.

.
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Old 12-23-2017, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
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Wow, thanks for the info...
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Old 12-23-2017, 02:57 PM
 
Location: LI,NY zone 7a
2,217 posts, read 1,320,072 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
Perhaps there's a bit of confusion about what a fledgling owl is and what it does. The leaving and returning of most species of fledgling owls is normal for the first few days. When fledglings first leave the nest they are unable to fly, they don't have all of their flight feathers fully developed yet, they are incapable of hunting and are still dependent on their parents for food. Until such time as they have become well-practised fliers and have started learning to catch their own food they will repeatedly return to the nest or to branches very nearby to be fed by the parents and to take naps (they still need to sleep a lot at this stage).

At this phase they spend a lot of time repeatedly falling to the forest floor and then climbing up and down branches and tree trunks. They are strengthening their leg, wing, chest and neck muscles and flapping their wings and practicing, practicing and practicing leaping from the heights to try to take to the air and tumbling down to lower branches or to the ground. For a while they will be falling again and again to the forest floor and repeating the strenuous climbing and practice flights over and over again until they become successful at staying in the air. All this time the parents still feed them and the owlets will return to the safety of the nest only from time to time either to be fed or to sleep together in a sheltered place.

If there were cameras set up outside around the area of the nest box you could see all this other frantic activity going on now. When the owlets no longer return to the nest box for several days in a row it can probably be safely assumed that they have graduated to flying better and sleeping together in the tree branches nearby. And for a short while longer the parents will still be supplementing the food they catch for themselves for just a bit longer until they have become more independent. Then they will no longer be fledglings, they will be juveniles.

.
What a great post! I found a (baby) GHO on the ground a few years ago. I took it to a place that takes care of birds. Had I have known they could climb back up to some sort of safety, I would have let it be.

Or did I do the right thing? It was roughly ten inches tall at the time.
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Old 12-23-2017, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevadas (California)
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Thank you Zoisite

LI, I have read to always leave baby birds alone, the parents are likely nearby, but you did, what you thought was right at the time & there is no going back.
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Old 12-23-2017, 03:07 PM
 
Location: NW Indiana
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Very interesting, Zoisite. Thanks for all the info!

However, when the spring brood left the nest they never returned (at least not in the daytime when we could see!).
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Old 12-23-2017, 03:16 PM
 
Location: LI,NY zone 7a
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evening sun View Post
Thank you Zoisite

LI, I have read to always leave baby birds alone, the parents are likely nearby, but you did, what you thought was right at the time & there is no going back.
Good point. Live and learn, as they say. I did see it full grown before they released it tho, which was quite exciting. Never realized how big they really are all growed up!
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Old 12-23-2017, 11:05 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ~🌄 ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️🌄~
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIcenter View Post
What a great post! I found a (baby) GHO on the ground a few years ago. I took it to a place that takes care of birds. Had I have known they could climb back up to some sort of safety, I would have let it be.

Or did I do the right thing? It was roughly ten inches tall at the time.

You may have, (you probably did do the right thing) it depends on how long it was on the ground and how weak or strong it was and whether or not it was injured and permanently grounded. Great horned owls are tree nesting owls. Grounded fledgling owlets that come from nests built in high places and that won't try or are unable to climb back up into the trees may not be able to do so for a number of reasons but if they stay on the ground they will assuredly die. The parents will call and try to encourage a grounded owlet to climb back up into the trees but the parents will not / can not take the risk of feeding it on the ground. A grounded tree nesting owlet will perish either from starvation and exposure or by predators.

Tree nesting owls aren't like crows for example, where fledgling crows who have leaped from the nest can live grounded for several days until they learn to fly all the while being fed and guarded and taught to hunt on the ground by their parents and several other members of a flock of crows. Definitely a fledgling crow that is found to be grounded should be left alone because it is being well looked after by its big extended family of parents, aunts, uncles, etc.

Ground nesting owls who have no trees (i.e. Arctic owls on the tundra or burrowing owls on prairie or desert land) are a different matter and have different ways of feeding and looking after their grounded fledglings until they learn to fly. Ground nesting owlets learn much faster to jump and hop and leap up vigorously and run quite fast across the ground with their wings spread wide until they become airborne by a gust of wind and learn how to fly while they're aloft. Each time they leap up and manage to get airborne they also manage to stay up there a little longer than the time before until eventually they have mastered the leap up and the way they maneuver their wings to "grip" the air and stay aloft.

.
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