It’s March 31. I’m taking a car ride to Fallen Feathers from Wickenburg. They thought I was a Cooper Hawk baby, but I am a week old Great Horned Owl nestling and I am already an orphan. I have cuts on my head. I was warmed up, my wounds were cleaned and then I was fed.
I don’t balance well yet. I miss my nest. It’s made to help hold me in. Mom and/or Dad couldn’t come help me after I landed on the ground since owl feet (talons) are made for crushing; killing our prey. My parents normally would keep me warm since i’m still all covered in fluff – a heating pad set on low now does that job. An incubator is ready if I need it.
As a baby, I sleep most of the day, but I do open my eyes a little. I have also quickly adapted to the silver tool that feeds me twice a day. Right now I just eat small mice, but as I get older I’ll need at least a rat a day to fill me up.
I’m learning things every day. I am honing my hearing skills. Owl ears are especially sensitive so that they can hear their prey’s every move. Have you ever seen an owl ear? Mine are easy to see right now since my feathers haven’t come in yet. Take a look.
There are lots of other babies here already. Sparrows mostly right now. 71% of the total bird count Fallen Feathers receives in a year is during April, May, June and July. I am told that there will be many other great horned owls here soon, but I am the first of this year. Fallen Feathers has gotten between 10-15 Great Horned Owls a year for the past 3 years. Friends will be nice to have.
Update – April 25th
Volunteers were not kidding. The first week i was here, several owls have arrived. The “twins” – they are at least 2-3 weeks older than me. a Barn owl, Priscilla. She screams at everyone but is about my age. This week, we got in 2 adult barn owls, and a week old barn owl. There were also two other sibling great horned owls dropped off on separate days. The first one, Harry, seems fine. The other, Troy, has some tummy trouble and needs more care.
We also have lots of baby ducks, hummingbirds and sparrows right now. We all grow at different rates and have different needs. It’s amazing to watch.
Gonzo, the Great Horned Owl
As an avid bird watcher and nature lover, being outside brings such peace and relaxation and with so much to be thankful for. It’s an added blessing in my life. Several times a week you will find me visiting Rio Vista Park at Thunderbird and 101. The walking paths are asphalt and there is plenty of wildlife to see.
Some of my most treasured sightings, besides the coyotes and butterflies, are the great horned owl, roadrunner, green heron, egret, a pair of ravens nesting under the bridge, hawks, ducks, kestrels and the beautiful finches. I have also encountered the woodpecker and the occasional rare bird flying through such as a Cardinal.
I am also, avid heart rock collector; I have built quite the collection. In the spring time, the wildflowers are at their most gorgeous and fragrances lull the senses into a peaceful relaxed state of extreme calmness. Each time I venture out there, I am never without a sighting and often I get surprised by who shows up! So being outside in nature, and being serenaded by the songs of birds, is a total stress reliever and a reminder of how beautiful life truly is.
You won’t be disappointed if you choose to visit Rio Vista. Your senses will be delighted and I guarantee a big smile on your face and a full heart!
Pam, Volunteer at Fallen Feathers
#birds #volunteer #birdwatching #hiking #riovistacommunitypark #Peoria #greathornedowl #egret #finch #roadrunner #heron #wildlife
I’m Alice, a Cooper’s Hawk. I’ve lived at Fallen Feathers for a while. I’m still being trained to attend our events. It takes a lot of work to go to events and I’m a very anxious breed of bird. Our Executive Directors and volunteers are very patient with me. Let me tell you a little about what they do to support us every day and thru these events.
About a week ago, we attended Parada Del Sol parade. It was the first time we have been there and it was quite the honor. The event itself started at 10am, but we had to be there to set up at 7am. That means that the people wake up at 4am to feed us and start getting us birds ready (jessed and crated).
We were on the road a little after 6. We checked into the event and everyone started unloaded the trailer. We birds waited patiently (except Raven, she hops around).
Once the canopies and tables are all up, the perches are set up and we come out. People start coming by almost instantly with questions. Some of our events we have a kid section too with some sort of craft.
Our volunteers spend the entire event educating people about us (birds) and about the rescue/rehab we live in. At this event, I got a new perch. It was very nice and I felt very comfortable. The other perches we had were fine, and the other birds didn’t seem to mind them, but I am particular.
Here I am, along with Jack, the Harris Hawk and Digger, the Burrowing Owl. Flat Stanley visited us on Valentine’s Day, shown here with a volunteer and Raven. Finally, there is Robert, the Great Horned Owl.
Our entire education bird family is not shown here, but we were all at the event. The Parade portion of Parada Del Sol finished at 4pm. People continued to visit while everything was being put on the trailer. This is common for us. It’s nice to be seen and cared about by the public and our volunteers are always happy to answer questions. You’ll just have to come see us in person to truly appreciate everything that is done.
We got home about 7:30pm, put in our aviaries to have our dinner. It was a good day and now we get to rest.
We will be back with Parada Del Sol this weekend for the main events on Feb 28th and at Tres Rios Natural Festival next weekend (March 7 & 8). Hope to see you there.
Alice, the Cooper’s Hawk
What a surprise for us all. Today wasn’t a scheduled event, but Jody said it was something that we needed to do. We birds don’t like to go hungry. We indeed give a Hoot About Hunger.
What is this all about, you ask? Today, was Super Saturday Turkey Drive for St Mary’s Food Bank Alliance at Albertson’s Grocery Stores around metro Phoenix. What you probably don’t know is that Fallen Feathers is an agency of St Mary’s Food Bank. We receive pet food when it is donated to the food bank. While this is not guaranteed food, it is always appreciated.
A tip of the feather to this great organization. We thought we would come out and show our support and our gratitude this season.
Every year I also teach about a dozen baby great horned owls the ways of the world, how to hunt, how to eat.
It’s a tough job, but some owl has to do it so they can survive when they go back into the wild.