SNN (ScrollingNetworkNews) ✿ ✿ Our Mel and Sydney returned to their nesting box with plenty of bonding occurring..but after 2.5 months of Sydney in the box from Dec 2013 to mid Feb 2014, the lack of prey gifts from Mel ( perhaps due to the severe and historic drought underway in California)and they have forgone the nesting process this year as many other raptors ✿ Compared to other owls of similar size, the Barn Owl has a much higher metabolic rate, requiring relatively more food. Pound for pound, Barn Owls consume more rodents – often regarded as pests by humans – than possibly any other creature. ✿ We remind viewers that sometimes owlets may not survive - the parents will dispose of things in "The Owl Way" -viewer discretion is advised, this is nature and the "Owl way". ✿ ~ ✿ “Animals, like us, are living souls. They are not things. They are not objects. Neither are they human. Yet they mourn. They love. They dance. They suffer. They know the peaks and chasms of being.” ― Gary Kowalski, The Souls of Animals ✿ Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius." ~ E.O. Wilson

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The calling of the wild - Hopi

Hopi the barn owl recently flew the coop. Keepers fear for her safety because she has never lived in the wild.

Santa Clarita Valley Signal-August 4, 2011 
There’s only one reason why captive barn owl Hopi would want to escape the comfortable confines of the Placerita Canyon Nature Center: A wild male owl wooed her.

About a two months ago, Hopi, a longtime fixture at the center, squeezed through the bars of her enclosure and through a hole she’d chewed out of its screen.

“She made a perfect outline of her body shape, size, width and height,” Placerita Canyon Nature Center Superintendent Russ Kimura said.

Center workers had seen and heard a male barn owl courting Hopi for days before she escaped.

Ranger Frank Hoffman was on vacation at the time. Hoffman raised Hopi from 5 days old; she’s now 14 years old.

“Obviously, I’m still bummed,” Hoffman said. “But if I have to lose Hopi, this is the only way I’d like to lose Hopi. At least she has an opportunity to be free and wild.”

During her tenure at the Nature Center, the sweet-tempered owl helped teach thousands of visitors about her species and its importance in the food chain, Hoffman said..

Hoffman cautioned residents from looking for Hopi because barn owls are common in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Her chances of survival are slim since she never learned how to fend for herself, Hoffman said. But Hoffman said it’s possible her new mate is caring for her.

Since Hopi’s escape, nature center staff have reinforced the enclosures of the six other birds there with narrower bars and new screens