Project “We Give a Hoot”, the Great Horned Owl Rescue

Louis Belize, IRCC golf course employee, discovered a baby Great Horned owl on the ground while working on Hole #7 fairway. Realizing the baby owl probably fell from the nest and was in trouble, he notified IRCC Pest Control employee, Ed Carbin, who went immediately to the spot on the 7 Hole fairway.  Randy Poppe, our IRCC Mechanic, started documenting the rescue attempt in photos and tracking the baby owl’s movement until Wednesday, when Ed contacted the Florida Wildlife Hospital and Sanctuary for direction and assistance.
It was requested, by Sandy, from the Florida Wildlife Hospital, to carefully capture and deliver the baby owl to them.  Ed and Johnie, IRCC Pest Control employees, carefully captured and delivered the owl. It was at that time they were informed that a possible “sibling” was already in the hospital, perhaps from the same nest. According to the Florida Wildlife experts, the Great Horned Owls are known to build shabby nests, therefore, in high winds, do not hold up. They were then informed of how the rescue would proceed. After a few days of observation, feeding and care at the Wildlife Hospital and Sanctuary, and were deemed healthy enough to return, an attempt would be made to return the baby owls to their original location, in hopes that the parent owls would continue with their care.
Once Ed received the call that the owls were ready, Ed coordinated with Green Leaf Landscaping for a hydraulic lift and operator, and together with the FL Wildlife volunteers, they successfully installed a makeshift nest, a modified laundry basket! Once they were sure it was securely fastened to the tree, the two “owlettes” were placed in the basket in hopes the parents would return.

A short time later, Ed and company discovered the return of the parents and the babies have now graduated to “Branchers”. The Florida Wildlife volunteers have assisted IRCC on numerous occasions for sick or injured animals discovered on IRCC property. Each year, around 4,800 animals are admitted, cared for and returned to their place in the ecosystem. The Florida Wildlife Hospital and Sanctuary is a non-profit organization dedicated to Florida wildlife in need. They are licensed by state and federal government agencies, but receive no funding from them. They are staffed entirely by volunteers and operate on donations from memberships, local companies and grants. If you wish to find out more, call 321-254-8843.

“Owls well that ends well!”
Fl Wildlife volunteers were well educated in the habits and occurrences of blown out nests and were fairly confident the parents would return. The families of the Great Horned Owl stay together for a very long time.

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