Protecting our Environment...Connecting People with Nature...For Birds & Wildlife

Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society (DOAS)

Established in 1968 – A Chapter of the National Audubon Society since 1970

Juvenile Owl Found on the Ground After Severe Storms

On Friday, 5/17 an intense storm come through late day. The National Weather Service had issued tornado warnings. The following day, DOAS Director, Tom Salo was called to a house with a “fledgling” Barred Owl on their lawn. It wasn’t quite a fledgling. It and its siblings had ended up out of their nest tree in the yard. One sibling was just a pile of feathers and guts. The one we were alerted to was standing on the grass not moving – easy prey for a cat or anything else. A parent was nearby, quite upset.

Juvenile Barred Owl found after Storms; Photo by Tom Salo.

The nest was in a nearby tree, but 30′ up from the ground, making it impossible to reach. I called DOAS Co-President, and former wildlife rehabilitator Susan O’Handley. She advised us to find a nearby safe spot off the ground for this baby owl. Along with the homeowners, we improvised a nest in a child’s play house. We blocked the entry places with plywood so it couldn’t fall out. They would need to fly to get out of there.

After we left, another nestling was found stuck in the fork of a tree nearby. It too was placed in the “nest”. Three days later, the first bird flew out of the play house to perch on a stump in nearby woods. The second nestling unfortunately died by the 4th day. It was probably injured. An adult was persisting nearby suggesting it continued to care for its remaining offspring.

Barred Owls, (Strix varia), typically have one brood each year with 2-3 young per nest. Incubation takes about a full month and the young hatch as semi-altricial (relatively immobile, fed by the adults, down-covered rather than naked). They fledge in about 42 days, but the parent will often continue to care for them for another 3 months or more. Their diet consists mainly of small invertebrates but can also include crustaceans and insects. Barred owls are found in our region year-round and can often be seen active during the daytime.

Share this Page

Why Birds Matter...


DOAS Summer Day Camp 2024

Registration is Now Available for Audubon Day Camp 2024John G. New Audubon Summer Day Camp For more information contact: Susan O’Handley, Education Chairperson, Delaware-Otsego Audubon

Read More »
We envision a healthy world where people and wildlife thrive and natural resources are protected.
The mission of Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society is to protect our natural environment and connect people with nature
 to benefit birds and other wildlife through conservation, education, research and advocacy.

Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society
P.O. Box 544
Oneonta, NY 13820
(607) 397-3815

© 1968-2024 Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society

Images and drawings on this site are used with permission of the artists and are subject to copyright.