If you ever stumble upon a baby owl on the ground, would you know what to do?
Most people have an extremely soft heart when if comes to baby animals, even those found in the wild. We oftentimes want to pick them up and rush them home or to a shelter to help them. Most times, though, it is just best to leave them alone, like in the case of a baby owl.
The first thing you need to know about owl parents is that they are horrible nest builders. They often steal old bird nests from the year before, choose holes in trees, cliff ledges, or other precarious places to lay their eggs. Sometimes these nests aren’t very well-suited for when the babies get bigger or from protecting them from the elements.
As with most birds, baby owls, or owlets, are very capable creatures even from a young age. As they get older and begin to need more food to grow, competition begins in the nest among the babies to the point where some decide to try to go out and find food on their own. Some are even pushed from the nest by their larger siblings who want more space.
When one does end up on the ground they will usually be okay as long as they stay away from predators. They will generally walk around a bit before finding a tree they like. Then, by digging their talons into the tree, they will flap their wings as hard as they can until they reach a branch. After getting settled on the branch they will call out for their mother to be fed. The mother will generally keep feeding them in this spot until they are capable of fending for themselves.
This was the case when a baby owl (pictured above) was found near a bus stop in Newton, New Hampshire. It was stumbling around near the road with its mother perched in a tree above it.
Officers came and checked the owl to make sure he was healthy before taking him farther into the woods for his safety.
So what should you do if you find one? Nothing, it is best to leave them alone to let them sort it out. Just observe the little guy for a bit and then be on your way. If you happen to come back through that spot later on a return trip you are not likely to see him again.
The only time you should intervene when you stumble upon a baby owl, or any other animal, is if they look seriously injured. They should still not be handled, but call a local fish and wildlife to let them assess the situation and take action accordingly.