The Hungry Owl Project

I have sad news about the San Anselmo owl box with the webcam.

This evening when I went to check on it I was sorry to learn that the mama owl died last night. Heart broken is more accurate.

She had been sitting on eight eggs and I believe they'd all hatched. It was hard to tell.

The mama owl was like a house pet. I knew when she tipped her head a certain way that the male was near and he'd pop in soon. Unless of course I attempted to demonstrate this cute owl trick to someone else watching.

I knew she moved nearly ever two minutes, that the baby owls poked her in the butt and she would spread her feathers and it looked like she poked them back.

I'll miss her.

The baby owls have been taken to WildCare where they'll be fed until they can eat on their own. At that time they'll be returned to the owl box and the web cam turned back on.

San Anselmo is full of owls and subsequently rats or vice versa. And our town is full of poison boxes. The pest people say the poison doesn't have a secondary kill rate; that is if an owl ate a rat that ate the poison, the owl would be fine.

The owl people disagree. I don't know which is right.

What I know is the owl died and that sucks.

4/11/08 Update - The seven baby owls are doing great. One egg hadn't yet hatched. There should be photos soon.

4/13/08 Update - There are pictures of the baby owls here. Ugly little buggers. Also the mama owl was found to have the head of a gopher caught in her throat.


valereee said...

Oh, how sad! Are they going to necropsy her?

Donna said...

Oh man Katrina, I just clicked on the "sad news" link and saw the photo of the dead mama owl with the babies and the rats from the papa owl...I can't stop crying. That is just so sad. I hope the little owlets will survive. I sure will miss my morning visit to Kale for Sale for the next two weeks.
Ciao! Olivia

Green Bean said...

That is heartbreaking! I just don't know how to get through to people about this whole pest control thing. I saw someone's house being sprayed and came home to a flyer from a pest control company offering to spray the heck out of my home for every living thing imaginable. What are we so afraid of? Will a couple spiders or ants really hurt us? Even with rats, if we poison them, we see first hand that we kill the predators that would keep them in check naturally.

Theresa said...

Oh, that's so sad. Rest in peace, momma owl.

I was blessed to see an owl here a couple of weeks ago, they don't come around very often. Such powerful and graceful birds.

May all sentient beings be delivered from suffering.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm so sorry! Poor mama and poor babies.
I love owls. When I was getting up in the middle of the night regularly to nurse my son, I would hear one 'whoo-ing' in our front redwood tree. It would instantly make me feel peaceful instead of grumpy for having to get up yet again.

Kale for Sale said...

Thanks everybody for sharing your sympathy. If I find out the results of her autopsy I'll post them and also when the babies come back online I'll be sure to include a link to them.