The great heights a MN animal rehab center went to help a baby owl

The great horned owl chick fell from its nest.

Animal rescuers from Duluth had to go to great lengths – or, more appropriately, great heights – to help save a young great horned owl chick this week.

Wildwoods Wildlife Rehabilitation posted the story on Facebook, saying a woman named Kelly found the owlet on the ground Sunday in Ashland, Wisconsin, and brought him in.

The chick was fine, so they fed and hydrated him. And while there, he even got to snuggle up next to a stuffed animal owl, making for one of the most adorable photos you will see this week. (It's to keep the baby owl from imprinting on a human.)

There's also video of them feeding the baby from behind the stuffed animal owl.

Owlet fed by surrogate

Posted by Wildwoods on Tuesday, April 18, 2017

After looking after him, Wildwoods asked Kelly to put him in a man-made nest as high up as possible in the tree he was found under.

"Usually, this is enough, and the parents will care for their chick in this new, lower nest. But not always..." Wildwoods wrote.

Instead, the owlet looked completely unattended to – there were no droppings in the nest, meaning he hadn't been fed. And Kelly hadn't seen the parents around.

So Kelly took the owlet into her home, warmed him up and gave him raw chicken, and the next day bird expert Dave Evans made the drive out there to help. He climbed 45 feet up the pine tree to the family's actual nest, pulled the baby owl up, and put him back with his siblings. All while the parents were distracted by some crows.

"Thanks to Kelly and Dave (and all of you generous animal lovers who support our work through donations and membership!) for making this happy ending possible!" Wildwoods said. And of course the center has more photos, so make sure to check those out here.

Wildwoods is a nonprofit that gets no state or federal funding, and relies entirely on donations and volunteers to operate. The organization's goal is to get sick, injured and orphaned animals back to a point where they can be returned to the wild, while also serving as a resource and education center for people to learn more about animals.

Great horned owls

Great horned owls are pretty big birds of prey, with pretty big appetites – the DNR says they're one of the few animals that will kill a skunk, and can eat 4,000-plus mice every year. They're located all throughout the state, including in rural areas and cities. They've adapted well to humans, the DNR says.

Though not so well you can just do whatever you want around them.

There's actually a nesting family in Minneapolis' Lake Hiawatha Park right now. And the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has gated off the tree they're in, and asks people to stay back, don't climb the tree, and keep your dog on a leash.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' defense fuels win over Pelicans

The Wolves' have bought in on the defensive end as part of a 2-0 start.

Minnesota Wild

Ryan Hartman's OT goal helps Wild stay undefeated

The Wild improved to 4-0 with a win over the Ducks.

Mar'Keise Irving / Gopher Football

Gophers pound Maryland to stay in Big Ten West race

Four different players scored a rushing touchdown in a 34-16 victory over Maryland.

Father Paul Kubista at St. Mary of Czestochowa

Controversy after Delano priest shares vaccine misinformation in church bulletin

Father Paul Kubista is pastor at St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church.


Mel-O-Glaze, DreamHaven Books robbed at gunpoint minutes apart

The businesses were hit by three robbers just six minutes apart on Oct. 21.

Cambridge house explosion

Explosion destroys house in Cambridge, 5 injured

The explosion occurred early Saturday morning on the 33000 block of Hillary Circle.


Charges: Lyft driver sexually assaulted woman in her home

The defendant is being held on a $100,000 bond.

Pixabay - black bear

Black bear bites professional baseball player in western Wisconsin

The former MSU-Mankato star was bitten in his back.

mickey moore driver's license shared

Beleaguered Ward 9 city council candidate loses Strib endorsement

Mickey Moore has faced questions in recent days about where he actually lives.


Look at the (adorable) animals the Wildlife Rehab Center admitted this year

This is a muskrat – one of the thousands of animals the center looked at this year.

Look at the (adorable) animals the Wildlife Rehab Center admitted this year

This is a muskrat – one of the thousands of animals the center looked at this year.

The constant stream of delight that is the Wildlife Rehab Center's Instagram

You can admire the cuddly animals and learn something about wildlife. Win-win.

mn zoo gladys the owl rectangle crop

Large owl named Gladys escapes from MN Zoo

The owl flew off to a tree during training, and has been on the loose since.

The Eagle Cam couple might be getting ready for some baby eaglets

Will these lovebirds lay their eggs early again? Or wait until a more typical time period?