My friend and I frequently take our little dogs for a walk behind Kal Tire Place. In the last couple of months, we have been blessed to spot a great horned owl and her fledgling on top of the 40-foot aluminum tube and perching in the little view box on the top. They obviously built a nest there, safe from humans and ground animals.
The owls have been spotted many times. Recently, my friend noted that the owls were not there. Upon checking again and upon coming closer, she heard them fluttering their wings in the bottom of the tower trying to get out.
It is obvious that owls are not helicopters and could not get out. There is a metal door on the bottom locked with a heavy chain and lock.
We could see, however, the mother and fledgling through the crack, huddled together. They had no food or water for days. We went to the fire department who immediately called the bylaw officer.
We followed the bylaw officer to the parking lot.
He was equipped with a camera and bolt cutter but no key. He checked it out, took photos and contacted our conservation officer who then informed the bylaw officer that the birds would fend for themselves. There were all kinds of excuses why the door was not opened — “owl may attack,” etc.
We left and we took it upon our selves to put raw chicken into the crack.
In spite of that, we were powerless to prevent the death of the fledgling. It was dead the next morning.
When we looked into the crack, the mother bird was there protecting her dead baby and did not leave nor could she leave. There was no way out for the poor creatures.
I called the bylaw officer and said something has to be done right away or perhaps I would contact the media.
Later that day, we checked again and noticed the chain had been cut and the owls were gone. To this day, we do not know what happened to the mother. The mother may have been too weak.
We would have appreciated the decency of a call asking us to come for the release, or was there something we should not know?
We are totally saddened, disgusted and appalled at the slow and unnecessary reaction to release our beautiful protected species.
Also in future, the lookout on the top of this death tube needs to be fixed so no other birds fall through the holes and come to their demise ever again.