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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Outlaw Owls and Ned Update

 ​​Buckle up! It's going to be a long bumpy ride...​​

Ned Update​
​I went to see Ned Friday. Ned has been in the hospital for 20 days so far. His break was severe and by the time it heals and he finishes rehab​ we hope to have him back here by August. You can check on his progress by going to this link Ned is #18749

Ned came in at 667 grams so has gained 76 grams. Wrapping them and making it dark comforts them.

This is where Ned hangs out. Next to him are the 3 orphans that he is Baby Daddy to
Orphan owl with broken leg. About a month old. 
This is drunk Ned. They have to put him to sleep to get x-rays, clean the wound, and do physical therapy.
HIs pin. NOLO means no leftovers ROM range of motion BAR bright, alert, reactive

 ​​So far, his hospital care comes to $1609. Obama is not paying for this. So far, Terry Loeb, Holley Hamilton, J'Nell Bryson, Ann Tompkins, and me have contributed.​If you enjoy reading about Ned and Nellie, please support the raptor center and when you give, say that it goes to Ned.

Ned is helping the Raptor Center by being a baby daddy to 3 baby owls who fell out of trees and went boom and broke appendages. How cool is that?! Ned is talking to them and they are hearing his wise words. The only good vole is a dead vole. Crows and blackbirds are asshats. Never eat poisoned prey.

 ​Outlaw Owls
 Once the babies are self-sufficient (around July), they are supposed to go find their own territory. Over the last year, we have often seen and heard 3-4 owls. I call them the marauding or Outlaw owls.  This band showed up Wednesday night and we had 6 owls in our front yard. It was delightful. The babies were just flying around saying "look at me!" while Nellie was keeping an eye on them while making sure the outlaw owls kept their distance.


 Will Ned be released back to us?
 Yes, he will.  We will do a neighborhood party to welcome him back.
 Will Nellie take him back?
 We hope so. Owls mate for life but when one is "gone" they get replaced rather quickly. Dr. Rob said he has seen it happen in 3 weeks and he has seen it happen while the male was still alive (though owl divorce is rare). Ned has been here since at least 2009, so he will likely come claim his territory with a vengeance.  And since Nellie is a single mom raising twins, most male owls would pass her by as she is not in the mood to be carrying on with mouths to feed and crows to fend off.
 What about those crows?
 They are assholes. With both parents, one searches for food while the other looks after the babies. With only mom, crows and black birds get off on pestering Nellie. They do it because owls are predators and will go after their babies. One watcher told me that the crows got after one of the babies while she was on the ground trying to hunt and mom had to rush in.  It is no surprise that a group of crows is called a murder of crows while a group of owls is called a parliament of owls.
 Can they hunt for themselves?
 No. They are still getting the flying thing down. They are able to hunt on the ground but it makes them vulnerable so Nellie gets food and takes it to them when they are in the trees.  I am not allowed to give them mice more than once a week for fear they will get conditioned to free food and not hunt. I have however, thrown out a bunch of sunflower chips along Edgehill Park that hopefully will attract mice and birds for Nellie to grab.
How do I find them?
 The last 3 nights they have been at Edgehill and like in years past, they will likely stay there at least 2 more weeks. It is the perfect hunting ground with the creek and plenty of space to swoop. Listen for their cries which sound like screeches (they do that because they are hungry and to let other birds know this is their territory) and listen for the crows, blackbirds, and cardinals pitching a fit. Dusk and dawn are best but they can be out during the day because there is only one parent finding food.​
What's with the head bob thing?
Owls see in 3-D and because they have young eyes that are too big for the socket, they have to move their heads to see much like Stevie Wonder. click here to see owl head bob   If you hold your arm straight out and put your index finger up then close one eye then the other, you see a different perspective. That is what the head move is about.

 ​That's all for now. Drive slow around Edgehill. My cell is 704-451-2406. Feel free to call or text if you see something I should know about.


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