Baby Owl back in nest after help from Arborist and Salthaven West

A baby owl was brought to safety earlier this week thanks to the help of a concerned citizen, a local animal rehabilitation center and an arborist.

Salthaven West Clinic director Natalia Slipak said a woman walking her dog Thursday saw baby owls on the floor, with the mother owl perched on one of the babies.

The woman called Salthaven West and then sent them a photo of the owls so they could determine if it was normal for them to leave their nest.

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“It was definitely a juvenile, just hatched. It shouldn’t be on the floor. It should be in the nest and under Mom and Dad’s care,” Slipak said.

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When Slipak and a volunteer from Salthaven West got there, they found that one baby owl had died, but the other was alive and under the protection of its mother from possible predators.

“We don’t know how it happened. Owls take over nests from other birds, so they might have taken this nest and it was an old one, (it) might have been badly built,” Slipak said.

Slipak added it could also have fallen from rain and movement.

“We don’t know exactly what happened, but it was pretty devastated when we got there,” Slipak told Global News.

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Slipak said she took a picture upon arrival to make sure the owl wasn’t hurt.

“It’s always best to leave babies with their parents if they are healthy (and) if they are strong enough and don’t have any injuries that require further treatment at the clinic,” Slipak said.

Once they determined the owl was healthy enough to stay with her parents, the need to rebuild a nest came next.

Sunset Tree Co. was brought in to help rebuild the nest and lift it back into the tree. Owner-operator Devin Kowalski said he’s typically called once a month to help with a situation like this.

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“(I have) years of security experience and I have the right, right equipment. (I’m) tied into the tree twice and (have) the ability to quickly push myself out of the tree if need be,” Kowalski said.

Kowalski said the old nest was pulled out of the tree and rebuilt in a box.

The baby owl back in a converted nest.

Salthaven West / submitted photo

“We sent that nest back up the tree (and) tied it off several times, and then we slowly (and) gently lifted the baby up and placed it back in the nest,” Kowalski said.

As an animal lover, Kowalski says he likes to see happy endings like this one.

“It feels good to make sure that a small difference can be made. I like it when animals are put back where they belong,” added Kowalski.

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Slipak said the mother flew to a nearby tree while the group rebuilt the nest and brought it and the baby owl back into the tree. The group waited for the mother to realize the baby was back in the nest and they reunited before leaving.

Slipak said she was grateful the woman called when she found the baby owls, and her mother called Salthaven immediately. Slipak also praised Kowalski’s hard work.

“It was a good team effort that led to a super good result,” said Slipak.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. Baby Owl back in nest after help from Arborist and Salthaven West

Brian Lowry

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