When temperatures rise, owl boxes installed in hot places can be dangerous for any owls inside. We've come across boxes installed high up under tin roofs many times - the kind you might find in a barn or in a riding arena. There, blistering hot air gets trapped and can quickly overheat a vulnerable clutch of young owlets. If the box hasn't been cleaned annually, allowing a buildup of pellets that can block ventilation holes, the issue can be even worse. In desperation, overheated and dehydrated young owlets will often jump out of the box (if they can). The fall can lead to further injury.
In this case, these two 4-5 week-old Barn Owl chicks were rescued from a riding arena in Novato and taken to WildCare for a medical exam, fluids and feeding. Meanwhile, a Hungry Owl Project box was installed at a lower and more accessible height. A few days later they chicks were deemed healthy enough to be returned to their new nesting box. Supplemental food is being provided as we wait for the parent birds to take over. Nest monitors will keep an eye on the site to ensure a successful reunite.
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Photos by Alex Godbe & Linda Knight. Click to enlarge!