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Two Tawny Owlets Rescued After 35-foot Drop From Nest

Published on: 26 Apr, 2020
Updated on: 30 Apr, 2020

by Hugh Coakley

Specialists rescuers from the Wildlife Aid Foundation performed a daring 35 foot (10m) climb up a swaying tree in Worplesdon to replace two one-week old tawny owlets back in their nest after they were found on the ground.

One-week old tawny owlet found at the base of a tree in Gravetts Lane having fallen 35 foot from its nest.

Four days later, the owlets could be heard and adults have been seen coming and going from the nest. So, fingers crossed, the rescue looks to have been a success.

It started on Wednesday evening (April 22) when Christine and Doug Lee, on their daily permitted walk, spotted a fluffy bundle at the base of a tree in Gravetts Lane.

The two owlets seemed to be very calm in their protective case before being returned to their nest.

Wildlife Aid Foundation from Leatherhead immediately came out to the rescue.

Lawrie Brailey, rescuer and media manager for Wildlife Aid, was able to confirm that the nest had not been abandoned when he sent up a drone and found an adult tawny owl sitting on one chick.

With this encouraging sign, they decided to return the next day with a tree climbing specialist to get access to the nest. The fallen chick was taken back to Wildlife Aid’s Leatherhead base for an overnight stay and a dead mouse for supper.

Lawrie Brailey of the Wildlife Aid Foundation steadies the owlets as they are hauled up the tree to their nest 35 foot aloft.

There was a potential disaster the next day when they returned with one chick to find the other at the base of the tree. The owlets were re-united in a protective case and seemed vary calm but watchful, with their unblinking owl stare.

A freshly killed great tit in the nest provided a further positive sign that the adults were active and it was decided to risk putting the owlets back in the nest.

Arborist and ecologist Daniel Simmons climbed 35 foot up the swaying tree to replace the two tawny owlets in their nest.

Daniel Simmons, arborist and principal ecologist with Simlaw Ecology, climbed the tree and hauled up the owlets but not until he had built up the sides of the nest to prevent them falling out again.

Daniel said: “That was brilliant. Most of the time I look for bats in my work. This is quite different. The birds resisted a bit being handled but once they were back on the nest, they seemed happy.”

Simon Cowell MBE and founder of the Wildlife Aid Foundation, filmed the rescue. He said: “Tawny owls are a success story but we see quite a few of these rescues in the year.”

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Responses to Two Tawny Owlets Rescued After 35-foot Drop From Nest

  1. Dave Middleton Reply

    April 26, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    Well done to all involved and how lovely to have a happy story at this time of worry.

  2. Dave Loxton Reply

    April 27, 2020 at 8:42 am

    I wonder just how rare these are?

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