Metro Phoenix Area Urban Jungle – it’s an obvious place to find baby owls nesting, right? :-) Ha! Fortunately, a good friend of mine tipped me off to the presence of these beautiful little guys within easy reach of a camera, and I was able to snap these off. Even managed to catch one of Mama Owl perching watchfully in a nearby tree.
These guys have had an exciting few weeks growing up in the Big City. The story goes that there originally were three owls in the nest (don’t worry, the third one is alright). However, they had all grown so huge that the third baby was bumped from the nest, ostensibly while jockeying with his brothers/sisters for space. Fortunately, he was able to flap his wings enough to slow his fall and arrive at ground level unharmed. Nearby onlookers were able to contact fish and game to come pick up the little guy. Game and fish was careful to explain to everyone that the reason they were not putting the baby owl back in the nest was NOT because of the myth that the scent of human contact would cause Mama Owl to attack the baby, but rather simply because there was no room and he would invariably be bumped out again. The nest appeared to be sufficient for the two remaining babies, and they would care for baby #3 until it was ready to be released into the wild.
I was very fortunate to grab these shots, as you can tell from the size of these guys that they’re getting ready to leave the nest in a few days. Kudos to the caring onlookers for contacting fish and game for the third baby and to everyone for leaving these guys be as they grow up in this unlikely place. I wonder if they’ll develop a taste for fast food thanks to their childhood in the city? After all, being owls, they already have the night life thing figured out! :-)