The teen years can be the toughest. You're kinda feeling like an adult, but you're still very much a kid. Independence seems just within your grasp, and yet -- although you hate to admit it -- you still want Mom and Dad by your side.
Well, that just about describes our fledgling barred owls: they are just learning to fly, but they still need us to provide food and shelter for them. And like teenagers, boy do they eat!
You may remember this owlet trio from an earlier blog post. All three owls came from separate owl nests -- all falling out too early, and all unable to be re-nested. So we're playing Owl Mom & Dad here at VINS, and we'll continue to care for these youngsters until they are able to fly and hunt on their own. Their last few weeks here at VINS will be spent in our flight cage, where they can really perfect their flying techniques, and where we will offer them live mice to practice hunting.
Soon, these birds will fly the coop, and the staff here will suffer a bit of empty nest syndrome. But with new baby birds coming in nearly every day to the VINS Wildlife Services department, we won't feel lonely for long. Lucky us : )