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Surrogate Mother Screech Owl At Save Our Seabirds!

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posted by Kathleen Jackson alias kathleenjacksonphotography on Sunday 17th of May 2009 12:26:39 AM

I am INSIDE the baby screech owl habitat, and this is the surrogate mother who keeps watch over them and show them how be a screech owl! I believe she is missing a leg, and I think Lee said she is partially blind, but she is healthy and good at her mommy duties. She seemed to like me, and I felt she was smiling at me. I was humble, probably holding my breath, and totally in awe. I was respectful, and I had a lump in my throat much of the time as I felt so honored to be among them. There is a whole owl training program coming for the young ones she mentors! I am amazed by how they slowly teach the young ones to hung live food! It is AWESOME!! Today was the day! It was my first trip to Save Our Seabirds in Sarasota, FL. Wow! I am still reeling! I think it may be one of the most awe inspiring experiences of my life. I know, I’m a nerd, but I am utterly sincere. My husband Derrick went as well, so that made it all the more fabulous, sharing the experience. We made sure not to use any scented products this morning, my idea of course. LOL! Our new friend Lynn, the Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator and in my book Certified Sandhill Crane Wrangler, met us there. We got an inside look at this fantastic facility. I have to tell you, I was OVER THE TOP impressed with its cleanliness and their philosophy of operation. The absolute goal is re-entry into the wild, though of course there are some who can never go back. Lee (Leigh? I’m sorry if I am spelling your name incorrectly) who operates the facility is one of the best people I have ever met. She showed us everything, and at every turn, she was feeding a bird. I felt like a child, as I saw so many things for the first time, and I loved Lee on sight! Lee took us to some wood enclosures where baby and young screech owls were housed. To my surprise, she ushered me in and left me alone inside with them. I felt like I was stepping into the labyrinth, and I thought “Where will this take me, literally, emotionally, spiritually?” It was dark, and I could not, nor would not use my flash on dozing baby owls, of course. I didn’t start shooting for a couple of minutes. I was taking them all in. Some were in the shadows, some in dappled sunlight, some up at the top of the habitat, and all looking at me with their BIG pale eyes! It was like being in a house of Furbys! It was utterly surreal, and I am getting goose bumps just thinking about it. I cried…tears of joy when I came out their space. Of course we also saw Sandhill Cranes, my personal connection to Lynn and Save Our Seabirds through Mama Cherry and her paperclip incident. The injuries are tough stuff to see my Flickr friends, and most of them happen on golf courses! Broken legs which often have to be amputated, head injuries, blindness, broken beaks…it is heart wrenching. They make prosthetic legs for them, which helps, but have to be re-attached often. This prosthetic leg thing has had me puzzling ever since. This is going to be a long ongoing story, so step in if you dare! I asked Lee, what she needed besides money and chicken? A joke because they go through so much chicken for the birds of prey it would blow your mind, and money being obvious!! She said she needs a computer, preferably a lap top so she can work on it at the sanctuary and at her home. She documents all of these birds, their injuries, their care and their outcome, and I think she does it all on paper, or on a PC so old that she can hardly open the internet!!! My wheels are turning, and I have a lot of ideas, but of course I welcome any input and ideas you all may have as well! One of Lee’s most important messages is that if you hook a seabird when you’re fishing, “DON’T CUT THE LINE!!” Please to go their website for capture and removal information. You can do this, and if you do not, it is VERY likely they will experience grievous damage and most likely death. ***All rights to my images are STRICTLY reserved. Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing my images or if you are an educator or non-profit interested in use. copyright KathleenJacksonPhotography 2009***

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  • Published 10.19.21
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