Ned and Nellie are a pair of barred owls that have lived in the Myers Park neighborhood of Charlotte, NC. since 2009. I chronicle their escapades to raise awareness of these beautiful raptors.
Friday, May 29, 2015
We found Ned!
Little background---In 2009, Rob Bierregaard (professor who did barred owl research at UNCC) named our neighborhood barred owl pair Ned (went with Nellie) and Nellie (she was nervous). In 2011, he captured Ned, took him to our kitchen, banded him and put on a transmitter to keep track of his whereabouts. click on this link to see those photos.
Every Sunday night, we would whistle for Ned and have a mouse on a platform that he would grab. After about 6 months, Ned stopped coming around. Our neighbor Walker and I would take the antenna and try to find Ned but got nothing. That meant that either Ned had been hit by a car or that the battery was dead. We were sad. In the owl world, if one mate dies, he/she is quickly replaced.
Four years later...Monday, Jennifer King who lives on Edgehill, calls me to say there is an owl in her back yard not moving.
I see that he is banded and hurt. He is not moving. Flies are crawling on him. I see no respiration. I step towards him and he acts startled. I call the raptor center and they said bring him in. I forget that I am trained to transport owls. I get my gloves,put a towel over his head to calm him and put him in a box. I text Rob the band number and he says it's Ned!!! At the raptor center, they evaluate him by first giving him pain medication, then x-rays, then develop a plan. See their tumblr blog at May 11.
He has a bad shoulder break and an eye injury likely caused by a car or hitting a brick wall while hunting and being chased by a dog. He had surgery today and did well. below is a link where you can follow his progress and donate to his care. The Raptor Center does amazing work.
I check on the owls most every night. Last night I saw two babies when we only thought there was one. So now mom is a single mom raising twins. For locals, they are still at Granville and Hermitage. Tonight they were at the Cutter house. Some new friends brought a bird that had fallen out of the nest that was not going to recover. They left it on the ground for Nellie and she took it! I know but it is the circle of life. [Note that owls see movement. They won't eat any roadkill because they can't see it so don't be throwing dead animals in people's yards.]