Apr 3, 2013

The Baby Owl of The Grape Street Dog Park

Face of a Common Great Horned Owl (B. v. virgi...

The Baby Owl of The Grape Street Dog Park

Destination:  South Park, San Diego, Grape Street Dog Park

Right, everything alwys happens when I'm gone.  Apparently, last week, Wednesday, there was a big commotion at the Grape Street Dog Park in the South Park area of San Diego.  I know it well since I bring my Ronnie there every day.  A baby owl fell out of the tree.  There had been previous reports from the neighbors of adult owl sightings in the trees during the day.  It seems this is rare unless there is a baby on the premises.

But this special day, last Wednesday, the baby fell out of the tree--as in on the ground with the dogs.  Some nice and caring person called animal control and Project Wildlife responded.

I couldn't stand it one more minute.  I had to try to find out more info.  I went to this place on Custer Street in San Diego.  Around the corner from the old Humane Society on Sherman Street in the Morena area, tucked away in a corner, with cages ready for wildlife drop off 24-7, is Project Wildlife.  Gabby, a very beautiful and knowledgeable lady told me they would have been the one to respond, since they are the only group that do wild bird rescue in San Diego.

I asked if I could see the bird or if they had some sort of "owl cam" but afraid not, that is not in their agenda legally.  She did say they received a baby owl approximately the middle of last week and he was doing fine.  They received only one, but they are standing ready to have more since this is baby bird season.  They get about 500 owls a year.  Wild birds make up about 80 percent of the animals they take in.  

The baby owl they received last week was a Great Horned Owl, that is the larger of the owls around here, as opposed to the smaller and more common Barn Owl, and it is also the only one that "hoots."

Well, I know there is something in the trees because if I walk there in the evening I often here hooting and whooshing, once in a very great while I do see a very large bird go by, rarely.  I would like everyone to note it is a little dicey walking in the dog park in the evening, night or early morning because one of the frequent wild creatures there are coyotes who like to snatch little dogs--I have heard this story way too often.

One of the many experts at the dog park said owls have been nesting in those eucalyptus trees for 15 years--even before it was a dog park.

Now, someone was kind enough to e-mail me a picture of the baby bird before it was taken to Project Wildlife--I was so taken with its beauty I could not stop thinking about it--we are so lucky to have this right in our backyard.

What will happen to the baby owl:  they will raise it until it can fend for itself and then they will release it back to the mom or the area it came from; they try to raise it without imprinting so it will have a good chance to survive.

It takes different species of birds a different amount to time to learn to fly.  Owls may take up to 4 or 5 days.  They have to get used to the whole thing, exercise their wings and spend some time on the ground.  This miracle does not just happen over night, however, a hummingbird may only take one day to learn to fly.  A crow my take up to a week.  Its a leaning process--they spend time on the ground jumping around and getting used to their wings.  This is all making me very nervous considering the close proximity to the dogs....

Well, I really enjoyed talking with Gabby of Project Wildlife today -she seemed so happy and exuberant about working there.  I feel like they are doing very important work--I felt so lucky to hear that info.  

My thing--the earth and all that--let's not just go around wrecking the place.

Thanks, Gabby, for your enthusiasm about birds and taking time to talk to me today.  That really gives me a good feeling about people and mankind.

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