Barn owlets returned to nest

Photo of owlets found in unsafe location on UC Davis campus.

Barn owlets, found in an unsafe location, were temporarily removed while their nest was renovated to assist in their ability to fledge and survive our recent, unseasonably warm temperatures.

UC Davis Putah Creek Riparian Reserve Steward J.P. Marié was alerted about the potentially unsafe nest location by a researcher conducting fieldwork nearby. He removed the owlets and placed them in the temporary care of the experts at the UC Davis Raptor Center while he raised the floor and added a shade structure to the owlets’ nesting location—a deep, narrow, steel agricultural storage container he referred to as a “death trap.”

After two nights away, the owlets were placed back in their remodeled nest to allow the parents to resume their care and feeding. Check out the infrared photographs of a nighttime visit from their parents!

PLEASE NOTE: Removing birds, or any animals, from the care of their parents is not a standard practice. The difficult decision to intervene in this case was based on the experience of our reserve steward. His success providing habitats, and repopulating riparian wildlife to other campus lands led him to conclude that their original nest set-up was detrimental to their survival, but one that could be fixed with minimal disruption to the family.

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