John Paul, the little Great Horned Owl, is lucky that he wasn’t badly injured in the fall from his nest high in a spruce tree in Oak Creek.
He’s also lucky that someone found him on the ground and cared enough to seek help. And he got even luckier, because the WHS Wildlife Rehabilitation Center’s skilled staff and volunteers were available to help.
Treating and Releasing John Paul
John Paul was brought to our wildlife hospital where he was thoroughly examined for injuries and treated for dehydration.
After a couple of days of treatment and hand-feeding, John Paul was strong enough for one of our Wildlife Rehabilitators to take him back to his nest site. The original nest had fallen from the tree, so our trained rehabilitator used special equipment to safely climb the tree and install a sturdy wicker laundry basket as a surrogate nest. Twigs and boughs were added to the nest and John Paul was placed inside. The people who found John Paul watched the nest to make sure that the owlet’s parents knew he had returned. But from the ground, the nest-watchers couldn’t be sure that John Paul’s parents had returned to care for him, so our rehabilitator climbed back up to the nest to check on him. Food scraps in the nest indicated that the adult owls had returned to care for John Paul!
Click here to see a clip of John Paul in his new nest and an “owl’s eye” view from high in the tree!
We need wicker laundry baskets (approximately 14” x 20” across and 12” deep or larger) to use as replacement nests for owlets like John Paul.
If you would like to donate a basket, please drop it off at the WHS Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at the Shelter. Thank you! Click here to see our Wildlife Wish List.