Cherish is my favorite word, and I cherish the ability of turning the routine into a beautiful moment.
Nature creates in me, a spiritual and meditative time to bring peace, harmony and balance, into an otherwise ordinary day~
Mary Howell Cromer

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Once Upon a Time, There Was a Screech-Owl Family...and

With the demise of World Bird Wednesday, (Dave, our friend Springman has taken a rest from his meme after over a year and a half).  
Happy resting Dave, and thank you!

Thank you to our friend Stewart M, of: 
Paying Ready Attention-Photo Gallery
who has stepped in and started a new meme.........  
Wild Bird Wednesday
To view other bird images shared from around the world, visit at :

Back in the late 1970's, and early 1980's, when we had our federal permit to rehab and release Birds of Prey, the majority of what we received, were Eastern Screech-Owls. The Veterinarian from the Louisville Zoo would bring them to us and then whenever he did an educational series, or needed one for a television interview, he would borrow one of ours. They are delightful little Owls and they have great personalities and the voice they make, sounds like you have just entered a jungle environment...well just about. We really enjoyed them.
There are 2 colour variations, of gray and, or red.

Mid-May of this year, my sister who lives in Louisville rang me up one afternoon, and she was quite upset. Her exact words were..." You won't believe what I have in my bathtub." I said..." I cannot imagine, what is it?" "A baby Owlet, and it was on my front stoop and it was all wet from the rain, and I brought it in and placed it into a bucket and then put that in the bathtub and closed the door."
She has 3 cats and a dog, and she certainly did not desire them getting hold of the young one.  My sister is physically disabled, and she needed me to come to the rescue.

Once I arrived, and saw the little one, it was just adorable! First, I set out to find the trees near her front door stoop and try to figure out a plan. There were only 2 small trees, maybe 15 to 20 foot tall, a White Pine and a Holly tree, side by side. There was a very large Oak tree and Maple tree in from of those half way to the road. I had already decided on the tree, when I saw 2 other Owlets.
Perfect!  The proper tree choice had been selected.

Several weeks earlier, I had taken a few images of an adult Screech-Owl in my sister's backyard during daylight hours.
The Cardinals were having a fit, because they had a nest in the tree where the Owl set up to do it's daytime sleeping, but the Cardinals and other songbirds, were having none of this and had camped out to make sure that it left, and it did finally remove itself to a more hospitable area.

Back to the young Owlet...
I placed it on the lowest branch within my reach and tried to get it to grab on with it's talons.
As soon as I would back away a bit, it would begin to fall.
This went on until the adult Owls decided that they had enough of my interference and the more gloriously coloured one began to come after me, flying nearly sideways, click, click, clicking it's beak and passing me ever so close with it's talons.
The young Owlet fell a couple of times and then finally grabbed on and began to branch hop a little higher and would fall again.
Geesh... and the one adult was in no good humor, and I was beginning to lose my good humor as well, but not my patience.
My sister's neighborhood has free roaming cats, raccoons, and who knows what else, and that little Owlet needed to be safe before I would leave.
It took a bit over an hour, but it finally settled onto a branch and was perched beautifully, as I departed.

The next day, I drove all the way back into town to check on the 3 Owlets and could see all 3 of them and that was all that I needed to give this up then to nature.
I like to imagine that all 3 survived and that is good enough for me.
Now tell me that these are not just about the cutest little Screech-Owls ever...



  1. Oh my gosh - I have never seen ANYTHING any cuter than these little Owls!! Fabulous series of photos!

  2. What a story! I'm hoping they all survived, too of course. What an amazing experience to work with these creatures. I especially love the fuzzy gray one. I kept wanting to help him hang on to that branch! Great photos, my friend!

  3. such cuties! glad you were able to restore the little one with the others. must have been quite the ordeal!

    (i'm sure you saw that springman has ended his WBW link-up as of last week - stewart at paying ready attention has begun wild bird wednesday today if you'd like to link in)

  4. Oh, wow! Absolutely gorgeous photos, Mary! Your shots are close, sharp, and stunning! Love these!

  5. Great job, Mary. Those Screech Owlets are really precious. Raptor Rehab is coming to Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve this Saturday from 10 am till 2 pm. Hope to see you there!

  6. Such a cute little thing. I still haven't seen these out in the wild. So hard to spot.

  7. Brilliant Mary, just brilliant. And the wee one as well.

  8. Your blog is a joy, Mary. You inspired me to go outside today and take photos of birds and a golden Skipper! The owl is just adorable!

  9. Great story and I loved all the owls. The owlets are SO CUTE!

  10. Now they are cute!
    Superb set of captures Mary.

  11. Hi there - what a great set of images - and a cracking story about the owls.

    Owls are such wonderful birds - A wonder if there is a culture anywhere that does not have special stories about them?

    Glad to see you managed to get the link thing to work - thanks for helping to get the ball rolling at Wild Bird Wednesday.

    Stewart M - Australia

  12. Thank you Stewart. Actually, I tried several times and still could not get it to work and bless her heart... Theresa TexWisGirl helped me out and loaded it up for me. I remember when Dave invited me long ago to be a part of World Bird Wednesday and I only finally got it linked up in the past several months. It may be security on my computer, but Theresa is ringing me up today to help me with the snag.

  13. Simply wonderful and intimate series. I loved the acrobatics and the stunning close-ups! Now I know how TexWisGirl got to be the first to post on Stewart's meme.

  14. Great owl shots. So cute, but at the same time a little ugly looking. Does that make sense?

  15. incredible series; wonderful photographs

  16. Fabulous shots Mary. That poor little thing just hanging on in there just made me laugh. Wonderful story too.

  17. great shots Mary. Love the second owl and the you hanging from the branch. :)

  18. What a great story! Your shots of these beautiful owls are wonderful.

  19. Hello Mary! I mentioned your blog this week. :)


  20. Mary, those are the cutest little Screech-Owls ever! Your photos are stunning!

  21. Mary your photos are awesome! I so love it and the owls they are pretty cool. I wish we have owls here in our area it would be my favorite subject to photograph. Thanks for sharing...



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