One of the two Owlets from last week’s rescue. Photo courtesy of Mac Davis.

BETHEL — Last week, an early morning walker at the Valentine Farm came upon a great horned owlet, which apparently had fallen from its nest. The walker notified the Valentine Farm Office and then waited with Bethel resident Mac Davis until help arrived. While waiting, Davis had to help shield the owlet from a couple of overly curious dogs who passed by.

On top of this, Davis took many photos of the bird until Jody Giddings from Sunday River Wildlife, a non-profit rescue and rehabilitation center in Newry, came to the rescue. Giddings had a strong idea of how the bird ended up on the ground.

“Great horned owls often pick other birds nests, so in this case they were just using an old nest that wasn’t built very well and the owlet happened to fall out,” Giddings said. “The owlet was not in the fledgling stage yet, it was still a nestling.”

The owlet fell from about 70 feet, according to Giddings. She put the baby in a travel container and then her and Davis scanned the trees to see if they could locate the nest.  Eventually Davis spotted not only the owlet’s home, but also its mother, another owlet and an unhatched egg.

From there, Giddings took the fallen owlet back to her clinic to look for possible injuries. The baby was deemed healthy, but was kept overnight, hydrated and fed a meal of skinned and chopped mice.

The next morning, with the bird still in her care, Giddings learned that the second owlet they had seen the day before had been discovered on the ground.

“We checked the second one out, but kept him for only about an hour,” Giddings said.

By that point, Giddings was trying to find a way to get the birds safely back into nature. She soon learned that Evans Tree Service out of Bryant Pond was willing to help and told her to meet them at Valentine Farm in about half an hour. The two men, Evan and Keith, first took the new, artificial nest for the babies, which was made from a laundry basket and pine needles, and free climbed it to a certain spot on the tree. They then attached the nest and pulled the two babies up, which were both safely nestled in a bag. During the relocation, everyone involved could hear the mother calling to her babies and she even closely swooped by Evan’s head a few times.

Currently, the Mahoosuc Land Trust is regularly monitoring the owlets location and has posted signs in the area telling dogs to stay away.

The owlets in their bag prior to being pulled up the tree to their new spot. Evan stood on bottom while Keith pulled the nest up to him to set into place. Photo courtesy of Mac Davis.

To see more photos of the owlets, visit



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