Baby Great Horned owl rescued and re-nested

Owlet Rescue
Courtesy of Carrie Dugovic

SPOKANE, Wash. — A baby owl was re-nested on Wednesday, April 21, after high winds blew it out of a tree last Sunday, with the help of residents and Birds of Prey Northwest.

Carrie Dugovic, one of the people who helped, said that on April 18, the three-week-old Great Horned owlet was blown from a tree along with its nest and was found by the residents of a nearby house, who contacted Tina Penny, a volunteer Birds of Prey rescuer and friend of Dugovic.

Penny said she received the email on Tuesday and then took care of the owlet, feeding it 8-10 mice a day.

Just two days before the owlet was blown out of the tree, Penny had been invited to Washington State University to watch a Great Horned owl get re-nested, not realizing she would use that knowledge shortly afterwards.

Dugovic said in an email that Penny constructed a makeshift nest out of a laundry basket and pine boughs, went back to the area and played baby owl calls from her phone. The mother owl flushed and the next day, Penny returned to attach the makeshift nest to a tree with ratchet straps and placed a game camera above the nest. The owlet was placed inside the nest afterwards along with two mice to hold it over for the night.

Penny said that she and several friends had returned to get the SD card from the camera to make sure that the mother owl was feeding the owlet, but the mother was close and Penny had to abort the plan. She added that the mother was still close, implying that she was still feeding the baby.

Dugovic described the event as a happy ending to Earth Day.