Archive for Wednesday, May 10, 2000

Baby owls returned to the wild

May 10, 2000

Last week, two baby owls separated from their parents when the tree they were nesting in was cut down, were hopefully reunited.

Bill Graveman, of Magnatech, a local company renovating a section of land into a city park, said workers cut down a large cottonwood tree on May 1.

"When the tree fell it split and they found a nest of three owls," Graveman said.

A conservationist was called and the owls were taken to Operation Wildlife near Linwood, Graveman said.

Operation Wildlife rehabilitates animals to return them to the wild.

Diane Johnson, director of Operation Wildlife, said one of the owls had a crushed wing and had to be euthanized. The others, she said, could still be returned to the wild and raised by their parents if the owls could be re-established near their home. The parents, Johnson said, would return to the area for two nights looking for their babies.

So the next day, Magnatech employees built an owl box, placed it on a tall stand and erected it next to where the tree had stood.

That afternoon, Judy Garrett, Bonner Springs, a volunteer with Operation Wildlife, brought the two remaining owls to the park.

Magnatech employees Joe Dobbs and Mike Graveman rode on a scissor lift, carrying the owls to their new home so their parents could find them.

When told the next day that there was no sound coming from the owl box, Johnson said that was a good sign and it probably meant the parents had found their babies and all was well. Otherwise, she said, the babies might have been heard calling for their parents.

Garrett, who returned the owls to Toganoxie, said she's always glad when young animals can be returned to the wild.

"The mother can raise them so much better than we can," she said.

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