May through June is the fledgling season for Great Horned Owls in Wyoming. Young birds begin to leave the nest, a.k.a. fledge, during this time. They typically cannot fully fly when they first leave the nest, and often explore the area directly surrounding their nest. They have an amazing ability to climb trees using their beaks and talons and return safely to their nests if danger is present. However, they can still get into trouble.
We receive an influx of calls every spring about fledglings that get into predicaments. Just last week, we got a call about a fledgling owl that had fallen into a window well and was trapped. Our team quickly responded and safely freed the owl. It was checked for injuries, deemed a very healthy owl, and quickly placed back into a tree. Its parents were both in the vicinity and watching during the rescue.
If you are aware of any raptor nests in your immediate area, you can help keep young birds safe by:
– Temporarily covering window wells, pools, etc.
– Keeping pets under control when owls are present.
– Removing hazards like loose barbed wire or soccer nets.
Always remember to leave wild birds alone unless specifically instructed by a wildlife rehabilitation specialist. If you come across a grounded fledgling, be sure to give it plenty of space and text or call Teton Raptor Center at 307.203.2551 with any questions.