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I'm a children's author. Animals are a constant source of writing material for me. They are also my heart!

Big Bird Bad Net

>> Wednesday, May 6, 2009

As you've probably noticed, I'm writing about everything from my own dear animals to the wildlife that I've had experience with...usually for reasons not too great. So let me tell you about the owl we rescued. What a day that was.

It was about 4:00 in the afternoon. The blistering sun could have fried an egg on the pavement. I remember sweating bullets as I pulled my car into the garage, grateful for the shade.

I had barely opened my car door when Ryan (my youngest) came flying around from the backyard.

"You've got to come quick," he said. "There's a big owl caught in the soccer net out there!"

I can't tell you how many times I've heard the words...You've gotta come quick.

Ryan pointed to the field behind our house that backs up to a soccer field and woods. There was indeed a big owl caught in the soccer net.

Ryan always thinks I'm not afraid of anything but I am. I just manage not to show it very often. I jogged out to the field with Ryan and saw the pathetic (but scary to me) owl. He'd probably been caught in the net since the night before.

"We've gotta do something," Ryan said.

Ryan's a creature of the obvious. We did have to do something. But what? I wondered to myself . I looked at the owls huge talons. The owls enormous round eyes looked back at me and begged for help. That was about all the big bird could do at that point.

As we stood there debating about what to do, my husband arrived. He too is a creature of the obvious. "You can't just untangle him with your hands," he said.

"Are you going to help us or not?" I asked.

"I'll help if you do it right," my husband answered. Even though Chuck's not the animal person I am, he's always there to support my efforts. I appreciate that more than words can say.

After a few minutes more of debate we decided the soccer net had to go. Ryan ran and got a big pair of pruning shears. I got a huge box and a sheet.

I don't remember who cut the netting and who put the owl into the box (netting and all). It doesn't matter. What matters is that we took the owl (now covered with a sheet) to Ohio Wildlife for help.

That was a good move.

Turns out, the owl was dehydrated and totally worn out. Ohio Wildlife rehydrated our owl friend and got him out of his netting prison. After a day or two of rest and IV fluids, they released the owl right back where he came from...the woods behind our house.

It was a glorious thing to see. Somehow there's nothing more rewarding than a successful animal rescue and release.

As for Ryan, he grew up to work for the park system. His passion for wildlife is still evident. Early this spring Ryan came over with a recording of owl calls. We ventured to the edge of the woods with Ryan, his wife, some friends and a tape recorder. Ryan turned on the recorder. Within minutes, a great horned owl flew from the forest to a tree just overhead. Back and forth and back and forth the owl flew.

"I wonder?" I said to my husband.

"Could be." he replied. "Could be."


Ern May 8, 2009 at 1:56 PM  

Great story, here I thought all that happened in the woods and field behind the house was shipe hunting...back in the day.


BeadedTail May 8, 2009 at 5:08 PM  

Wonderful story. Thankfully Ryan found the owl in time and all turned out well.

Alison Kerr May 8, 2009 at 7:00 PM  

Great story. I like that your son grew up to work with wildlife :-)

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Janet May 11, 2009 at 12:45 AM  

Mom told me about the recording of owl calls... apparently she wants night vision goggles now so she can see better next time!

Glue Girl May 12, 2009 at 10:58 PM  

Jan, We have owls here, but I never see them. And I want to, badly! Would an owl recording work? The only owl I've ever seen up close was a very tiny owl that gat cold and flew into our dinig room window one night on the coldest winter I can remember. It was about 18 years ago, an it was around 10 below zero. We were sitting at the table eating, and all of a sudden there was a little thunk! on the glass, and sitting there on the outside sill was little screech (i assume) owl. It sat there until it got its bearing, looking in the window and doing a lot of blinking. I love hearing owls in the woods. Eerie, a little, but also makes me feel special, like there is something magical about the call of an ow. Probably because we don't get to see them often. COOL!

Maren June 9, 2009 at 10:05 AM  

So like Ryan. "Uh, he's stuck."

GalleryJuana June 15, 2009 at 12:26 AM  

Beautiful story and it shows how events sometimes influence our decisions. I

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