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Reunited, and It Feels So Good!

It’s that time of year when wild, woolied and feathered take tumbles from their treetop nests. Luckily, our Willowbrook Wildlife Center and Grounds and Resources crew team up to not only extend care to owlets or hawk chicks but also reunite them with their parents. The two perform several reunions each spring for a variety of raptors, including great-horned owls, red-tailed and Cooper’s hawks.

Recently the District’s Dave Jorns and Ken Ruhaak from the forestry crew made house calls to our neighbors’ backyards with a cherry picker to return nestlings to a more secure location in a backyard tree. 

Grounds and Maintenance Manager Mike Wiseman says the partnership between the wildlife rehab center and foresters is a long-lived one. “Our forestry crew has been assisting Willowbrook for years with returning fallen raptor babies to their nests,” says Wiseman. “Sometimes even the nest has fallen from the tree, so we install a platform to serve as a new nest for the baby raptors to provide them safety.”

Willowbrook and Grounds were delighted to hear this baby wildlife story has a happy ending! One of the homeowners who shares her backyard with the great-horned owlets sent photos of their progress.She writes, “Momma is only at the nest a couple times a day now — only to deliver dinner. She still feeds them, but they are also tearing up their own food. They are bobbing and weaving and stretching their wings. The wing feathers have filled in, and they've grown so much. I just love watching them!”

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