Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Greetings from the Owls

We had some excitement the past couple of weeks--we discovered we have a screech owl living in our willow tree. Well...not really living there, hatching babies there. At first we didn't realize it had babies, we just thought we had this night owl sitting in our tree with eyes open all during the day...(perhaps my children made enough noise that it felt it had to guard against invasion?)

Here's a shot my son took with the flash.

Pretty cool, huh? Well, we have since learned that the owls tend to fall out of the nest when they are learning to fly. They land on the ground, and then walk (or hop) around for a week or so, the parents feed them, and then they start flying and take off.

Unfortunately, we have five cats...all of which are pretty good at hunting down and killing whatever moves. We called my sister (who happens to be an expert on owls) and asked her what to do, and she came and got one of the little ones. It seemed to be weaker than the other one --not moving around as much. Turns out there were three of them all together.

Yesterday one of them died.

It's amazing how you root for nature. You hope that these little animals will survive and take off and grow and live and populate...even though you know the odds are very high that perhaps only one, and perhaps not even that one, will live. Makes you glad to be a human, huh? At least our chances of survival are greater...