NATURE NOTES OF S.E. MINNESOTA
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
SNOWY OWL UPDATE
The Raptor Center called Thur. March 22nd to let us know that the owl had not made it. The owl was young and died of starvation. This is apparently somewhat common of the young owls that come this far south. The normal food source of the owls when on the tundra is lemmings, and according to the Raptor Center they seem to have trouble recognizing the mice of Minnesota as a food source.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
SNOWY OWL RESCUE
You never know what a day will bring. About 9 A. M. Friday morning our neighbor called to report a light colored owl was just sitting in a road ditch close to her house. We headed over and her husband was there and reported that owl seemed to be injured. It was a Snowy Owl from the tundra of Canada and did indeed seem to be injured. It could hop but could not fly. We didn't really know what to do, so we called an expert owl contact at the Houston Nature Center. We thought she might send help, but instead gave us explicit instructions on how to do a live bird capture. We called some birding friends to fumble through this with us, and proceeded with trepidation. We carefully followed the instructions and it went surprisingly well.
Using the capture methods described by owl experts at the Houston Mn Nature Center we set about capturing the Snowy Owl with blankets. It went very well and once we got the red blanket over the head of the owl it became very calm. I was amazed by the lack of struggle, but also concerned that this may mean the owl was quite weak.
When we arrived at the Rochester Quarry Hill Nature Center, the staff transfered the owl from our laundry baskets to a larger carrier for the trip to the Raptor Center on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota. When we arrived at the Raptor Center, the staff rushed the owl off for evaluation. About an hour later, as we were traveling home, they called with an update. They felt the owl was female and that it was suffering from starvation. They stated that this is very difficult to reverse, but they would indeed try. We are to call for an update in about 3 days. We will keep you posted.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
MORE SPRING BIRDS ARRIVE EACH DAY
GREAT HORNED OWL NEST
We took this picture at a range that is beyond the capability of our camera but thought if was worth posting on our site in spite of the poor quality. Even though Great Horned Owls are quite common in the semi-open country of Fillmore county we seldom actually find a nest-so this was a treat. We also have a this species currently hunting our driveway fields on an almost nightly basis. The Bald Eagles and Red-Tailed Hawks are also nesting in Fillmore cty now.