Thank you to Robin Weeks for capturing these photos of the amazing rescue! 

Pesky Varmints is proud to announce that the News Press has published a story on the Great Horned Owl rescue. Check it out HERE

Great Horned Owl:

Fun Facts:

  • The oldest Great Horned Owl on record is at least 28 years old! 
  • Crows are known to harass these large birds for hours at a time. For good reason though, the Great Horned Owl is one of the Crows dangerous predators
  • Their feathers are extremely soft and insulate them against the cold.
  • Mocking Birds have been seen attacking the Great Horned Owl to protect their nest. 

Varmint of the Month: The Great Horned Owl

Posted 3/5/2017

The Great Horned Owl "hoo" needs a little help... 

It is not just any day that you get to hear a heartwarming story, which is why this amazing creature is our top pick for Varmint of the Month. The Great Horned Owl is one of America’s largest Owls standing over two feet tall with a 4-5 foot wing span. They get their name from the large ear tufts that resemble horns. They have big yellow eyes and the only bird that can turn their head all the way around their body in search for prey. They are also the only bird that can fly silent so they will stalk and wait for just the right moment to swoop down and grasp their prey. The talons on these massive birds are extremely powerful. These Owl’s start nesting in January, and the eggs take about a month to hatch. Six weeks after hatching, the owlets are ready to leave the nest.

Now that you know a bit about the Great Horned Owl, let’s move on to the heartwarming part of the story….

We received a call on a Monday morning from Bonita Springs Middle School. They told us that an owl had flown into a soccer net on the PE field, and cannot get out. Being that it was Monday, we didn’t know how long the owl had been stuck or if it had any injuries. Catcher Dan went right over and met with the Building Supervisor, John Weeks. Indeed, there was an owl stuck in the soccer net, but not just any owl, a Great Horned Owl. Quickly, the two gathered supplies to help rescue this beautiful bird. Catcher Dan slowly put a cloth tarp over the front of the owl to help relieve some stress from the bird and to protect themselves in case the owl was a bit angry. It was just the opposite though, as this magnificent creature must have known these two men were there to save him. The Great Horned Owl stayed very calm and still as Mr. Weeks carefully cut the soccer net around the bird.  They brought him over to the truck carefully, and they both removed the tangled net from the feathers and held the owl safely, comforting the scared bird. After all the net was removed, they carefully set him on the ground to see if he had any injuries. The Great Horned Owl was not harmed at all, not a feather was ruffled! He looked up at his rescuers, and then flew up to the nearest Pine Tree. He looked down at them both, perched on a tree limb, and gave a few short “hoos” as if to say “Thank you”. He stayed perched on that limb until Catcher Dan drove off and Mr. Weeks went back to work and then he flew off into the sky. 

It’s hard to say how he got tangled up the way he did. Perhaps he was flying down to catch his pray, and didn’t see the net. Maybe ‘he’ was a ‘she’ and had little owlets to protect. We are just happy the Great Horned Owl can continue his or her journey. Pesky Varmints was honored to volunteer and assist Mr. Weeks with this amazing rescue at Bonita Springs Middle School, the same middle school that both Catcher Dan and Mr. Weeks were students of years ago. The wildlife is happy and the children can play soccer. Well, they might need a new soccer net! 

That's owl for now, 

Goldie Locks 

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239-353-PEST (7378)

Mobile: 239-207-2084