Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Forestry workers rescue, relocate owls

Sometimes solutions to problems aren't what you expect. Such was the case recently when the Wildlife in Need Center (WINC) of Oconomowoc contacted us for help.

WINC needed help getting to a great horned owl's nest in a tall oak tree in New Berlin. A wind storm blew one of two owlets (baby owls) out of the nest, and some of the nest came down with the bird.

The homeowners noticed the owlet on the ground and called WINC. WINC looked into placing the owlet back into the nest, but it was too difficult for their volunteers to climb the tree. WINC staff wanted to move the nest and the pair of owlets to a lower height so they could monitor the fallen owlet’s progress and reunite it with its sibling.

At first, a bucket truck was thought to be the answer for the rescue, and WINC gave us a call. However, when our operations supervisor from Delafield Service Center visited the site, the supervisor knew immediately that a heavy bucket truck would break up the aging asphalt driveway due to the wet conditions and softened soil beneath the surface. So, forestry crews stepped in. Two employees from Asplundh, our forestry contractor, climbed the tree and installed a new wicker laundry basket, held in place with bungee cords. They placed both owlets in the nest for the adult owls to raise.

“It’s great to have help in cases like these that are unsafe for our staff to free climb,” said Mandy Feavel, wildlife rehabilitator at WINC.

And we were glad to help.

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