Firefighters save baby owls

Firefighters save baby owls


DEERFIELD — Wildlife conservation volunteers and the Gluckstadt Fire Department saved two great horned owls who were blown out of their nest last week.

Karen Felder, a volunteer with Magnolia Wildlife Education, Conservation, and Rehab Inc. in Brandon, said she was called out to a residence on South Deerfield Drive on Tuesday, Feb 27, at about noon to help renest a pair of great horned owls likely displaced form their nest by high winds the night before.

Felder said there was evidence that the mother owl had tried to feed her babies on the ground.

“She was doing all she could,” Felder said.

After checking the owls for inquiries, Felder said they then identified a nest an estimated thirty feet off the ground in a tree.

At 12:39 p.m. Felder called 9-1-1, said she did not have an emergency but asked if a local fire department could assist them in renesting the owls.

Division Chief Dustin Perry of the GFD along with Battalion Chief James Wise, Firefighter Justin Wells, and Firefighter David Ingram soon arrived on the scene with a ladder truck and were able to put the owlets back in their nest.

“You never know what you will see when called out for service,” Perry said.

Felder noted that GFD was “cordial and courteous” and “came right over.”

“It was a happy ending,” Felder said. “Owlets really need to stay with mama at that age.”

She noted in addition to taking care of her babies the mother owl will teach the owls to hunt.

Felder said they are entering nesting season which roughly coincides with the Spring. During nesting season she said they can receive calls as frequently as once a week. 

Debra Crum, executive director of Magnolia Wildlife Education, Conservation, and Rehab Inc., said they have federal and state permits to care for displaced wildlife with a specialization in birds. She said the goal is always to return the birds to the wild.

Great Horned Owls are found all over the state of Mississippi and are the largest owls found here, according to Crum. She said they are “plentiful” and not on any endangered lists. 

Crum said hopefully these owls will grow to be an excellent form of pest control for Deerfield.

“They are responsible for much of our pest control,” Crum said. “They do an excellent job of dealing with rats, mice and snakes and are generally a better form of pest control than poison.”

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