Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wistful Wednesday: The Owl

A very long time ago.  Something happened in a pasture..I do not recall exactly what the circumstance was. I  believe a tree went down in a storm and a nest was disturbed.

Our neighbor Walt showed up with a gunnysack slung over his shoulder.  Inside were two baby owls. The other baby owl went to live with his grandson just down the road.

Carey named our owl George Washington, Danny named his Theodore Roosevelt. Very patriotic names for owls!

We fed them grain and bugs..lots of bugs. Owls grow really fast on a diet of bugs.  We may have fed them some ground up pocket gofers too because we always had a trap line going in the summer.  I believe all this happened in the summer of 1962.  One day towards Fall we released them back into the wild.  

Carey, Connie ande Jody and the Owl

That is my baby brother giving the owl his arm he would have been 7 years old, I am holding my other baby brother who was almost 2 years old and I would have been almost 11 that summer.  I cannot remember where we kept that owl..most likely in a rabbit cage in the barn.  That is the old picture tree behind us and I noticed a set of concrete lawn ornaments in the background..a Hen with four chicks.

We always wore long sleeves when handling the owl. My baby brother took very good care of that owl.  Have you ever been pecked by an owl?  I have:) 

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My baby brother adds his version:

The baby owls were on the ground in the pasture, couldn't fly or run. I and Danny B found them. They were Great Horned owls. The Owl Mother didn't like the fact that her babies were removed and would sit on top of the barn and watch. The owl George lived in a case by the side of the chicken coop. Sharp claws. Ate hamburger. Released into Smoky Hills state forest, not sure how he faired.

22 comments:

  1. Wow, not every kid has those kinds of experiences!! What an opportunity Walt gave you kids!

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  2. He's a BIG owl. I can see why you would want to wear long sleeves. Good for you kids for taking such good care of him!

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  3. I have never heard of a story where people finished raising owls. That is so great. I would think they would have been hard to feed unless you did have a lot of dead critters around. It is a neat photo and I do remember those hen and chicken lawn ornaments.

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  4. I love owls ... I am so pleased that! I would love to have that experience. Good work, all of you!

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  5. The owl looks so cute in his fluffy feathers!
    I adore owls - never had one of my own though! I used to take my students to a small learning center that kept some animals indigenous to the area on hand for kids to see and to learn about. All of the animals were rescues that couldn't be released because of injuries or problems that would limit their ability to manage independently. They had quite a few different owls, including a small screech owl that lived in their office.

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  6. At about your age I enlisted the help of the neighborhood kids to collect bugs and worms to save some half grown flickers. One parent was killed and not sure what happened to the other one, but they were abandoned (I watched for a day hidden in the prairie grass to make sure what the kids told me was true). Used broken cement blocks left in the field to be just tall enough to reach into the hole in the tree to feed them. Was a painful experience and my hand and forearm were pecked to death several times a day for two weeks, but they lived--and left one by one. The last one seemed to wait for me at dawn. As I approached the tree shaking the bug jars to stun breakfast, I saw it sitting in the nest hole observing me. I'd never actually seen any of the babies except for beaks and the occasional eye. That full-grown, slightly fluffy flicker took off from the nest hole, circled the tree three times and flew off into the sunrise. I sat at the foot of the tree dumping out bugs while I cried happy tears. Thanks so much for the memory, Connie! :)

    Oh, and I worked pet shops and have been bitten bloody by all kinds of birds. The entire parrot family is the worst--with those hooked beaks! ;)

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    1. What a great story, Rita....thanks for sharing that...I almost cried too.

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  7. What a great story! I have never tamed a wild thing, unless you count my children.

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  8. Just imagine...these days you'd need all sorts of permits to do that. Good on you kids for raising that owl to freedom. I can imagine how the peck would hurt, a determined chicken hurts enough.

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  9. What a neat experience! We don't see many owls here, but one night I was pulling into our driveway and one was sitting in one of our trees near the road. I was so surprised and delighted. It sat there staring at me for a few minutes and I so wished I'd had my camera.

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  10. Never been that close to an owl. Looks like you did a good job raising them. :)

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  11. Yea the commenter thingy has been fixed and here I am Connie. I've never known anyone who who... had an owl. There is one in woods by me and he is hooting all evening long. Love to hear him.

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  12. What a wonderful experience. Terry and I both grew up in the country, as did my daughters. You just can't beat those kinds of experiences.

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  13. Nope, 'done allot'a stuff but pecked by an owl is not one of 'em!

    What a great and unique memory!

    God bless and have a grand day sweetie!!!

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  14. What a neat story! I don't know if you could do that now, you might get in trouble with some agency. who knows. What a great learning experience, though, for kids!

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  15. I haven't been pecked by an owl and I wouldn't want one to sit on my bare arm. That's why falconers always wear that heavy glove.

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  16. Wow! How wonderfully cool!

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

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  17. Oh wow - that is amazing! Your own baby owls... Fabulous shot!

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  18. That is so awesome that you were able to raise those owls...they're beautiful creatures. Your little brother was a brave one with those talons those birds have and it had to be heavy as it was about 1/3 as big as he was! What an experience. My dogs would bring me baby rabbits sometimes and I raised a few but most were so tiny they died. One that did live and I'd been raising it for about a week and I mentioned it at work and someone called DNR who came to my house and took it from me and said it was against the law even after I explained I was going to let it loose but it was just a baby and needed care. They were hard-nosed and hard-lined about it and said I was lucky I didn't get a big fine! Can you imagine? We're talking rabbits here...not an endangered species! So, I was polite and handed it over but asked if they would call and let me know how it was doing or when they let it go but they never did. It taught me a lesson...to keep my trap shut...well, I may not have totally learned the lesson yet.

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  19. the birder in me wants to reprimand... But, it had to have been a unique experience for all of you.

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  20. Jealosy is flaring again. I envy your childhood like I envy my own children's childhood. Did Bet tell you about her Turkey Vulture she took care of one summer?

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! This is an award free, word verification free blog! I am sorry I do not accept anonymous comments. Connie