What, a baby owl on the ground, should I call owl rescue?

What, a baby owl on the ground, should I call owl rescue?

It is such a blessing to live in the most beautiful Cape Town, residing among the fantastic wildlife and natural beauty. This week I discovered some new baby owl friends right here in Somerset West and Stellenbosch. This is what I learned about the Spotted Eagle Owl.

Not very often do humans and other creatures cohabit well. However, the Spotted Eagle Owl has developed quite a tolerance for Capetonian humans. A pair has settled at Kirstenbosch National Gardens, and according to SANBI, they may be the most photographed pair in the world.
August to October is the breeding season for the Spotted Eagle Owl in Cape Town, and to my delight, I was able to see two fat and healthy chicks growing up right there between office blocks and at my daughter's school. The owls create life-long pair bonds and are creatures of habit, tending to nest in the same spot year after year. They lay two to four eggs between August and October. Eggs hatch about a month later, and mom looks after them until they are about six weeks old and leave the nest.
The babies are still not able to fly when leaving the nest and spend some time on the ground. I was lucky enough to see the two different chicks during this period of their life. If you run into these little creatures hiding, and in plain sight on the ground, don't stress. It is a crucial phase of life. A simple rule of thumb, keep the dogs and cats away and don't touch the owl. Usually, at week seven, the babies have all the essential tail and wing feathers to fly.
Once the chicks are up and flying, they will start exploring, looking for a home base where they will build a family of their own. It may be as far as a few hundred kilometres away. Check out SANBI's excellent information page on the Spotted Eagle Owl here.
Adriaan Buys
Adriaan BuysEnvironmentalist, Speaker & Green Strategy Consultant
Adriaan Buys, the founder of ConservationMag.org. As an environmental journalist and speaker, he is passionate about telling the stories of those who cannot speak. Adriaan assists businesses with green strategy design. He holds a PhD in Environmental Management. Contact him for consulting or keynote speaking engagements at adriaanbuys.com.

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