Sunday, May 13, 2012


by Catherine Greenleaf

You know it's springtime in New Hampshire when the phone at the bird hospital starts ringing non-stop! Spring is the time of year when bird parents are busy laying their eggs, brooding over their nests, hatching their young and flying frantically back and forth looking for food to feed their tiny nestlings.

And it is also the time for problems for bird families: high winds can blow nests to the ground or blow little ones out of the trees. The unwitting tree cutter can fell a tree, sending an entire bird family crashing to the ground. Predators can enter a nest, scattering young ones and separating them from their protective parents.

The little Great Horned Owl nestling in the photo above just arrived at the hospital last week. He fell 60 feet from his nest at the top of a very tall pine tree. Miraculously, he suffered no fractures to his wings or legs, but he had been on the ground with no food for several days and was extremely dehydrated and  emaciated. He is doing much better now and is gaining a lot of weight. He is now in the company of two other Great Horned Owl nestlings and two surrogate adult Great Horneds who are permanent education birds due to disabling injuries.

They are all one big, happy, healthy blended family!

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