Down but not out
by Lori Arent
And the first baby of the year is ... a 2.5-week-old great horned owlet! On March 12, this little bird tumbled 40 feet from its pine tree nest in Bloomington, Minnesota. Remarkably, it was uninjured, so plans were made to return it to its family. Corryn Vitek, a senior veterinary technician at The Raptor Center (TRC), transported the youngster and met up with one of TRC’s volunteer tree climbers. As they peered up at the nest, not only did they see one of the adults looking down but also a second owlet laying precariously on a loose bed of sticks. Before their very eyes, it, too, plummeted to the ground. Repairing the nest was a noisy affair, as the adult clacked and hooted its displeasure from an adjacent tree. It didn’t take long, though, and the youngsters were lifted back up and the family reunited—mission accomplished!