New Brigden School rescues young owlets

Ms. Gayle Vass, principal of New Brigden School (NBS), gave students Eva and Alaina Hagens a special science project to keep them busy. ECA Review/Submitted

Last week, Nathan Gregory and Dave Schmidt, Provost and District Fish and Game Association members found three owl babies on the ground at our South Range.

The nest had fallen apart, so Nathan put up a  temporary make-shift nest out of a wire basket.

The babies kept falling out.

Nathan then shared the owl’s dilemma at the monthly meeting.

Glen Doble and I (Gayle Vass) went to check on the baby birds that night and decided they needed to be rescued.

I teach at New Brigden School, so I decided to make it a Science project for two of my students to research and then build a nest for a family of Great Horned Owls.

As soon as they saw the owl baby pictures, Eva and Alaina Hagens accepted the challenge.

Their mother Simone, who operates Terrestrial Solutions Environmental Consulting, agreed to supply materials and help with the project.

They delivered the completed nest to me at New Brigden School and it looked amazing!

When I returned to Provost, Glen and I took the nest, ladder, wire, and tools out to the Gun Club range to hang the nest.

Two of the owls were on the ground behind the tree huddled together but the third one was gone.

We hung up the nest and proceeded to get the babies into the nest.

We decided to wait a distance away and watch for the parents to return.

Glen decided to walk to the far side of the field along the tree line to flush out the adult birds who were flying around when we arrived.

The owletts enjoying their new nest. ECA Review/Submitted

He came upon what looked like a pile of white feathers.

As soon as he got close that pile of feathers started staring at him and it started to make its “clicking” sound as he approached.

This was the firstborn, who was quite a bit larger than the other two and had somehow wandered a long way from the nest.

It was a miracle that Glen just happened upon him.

We brought the ladder back to the nesting tree, put the gloves on, grabbed this feisty little character, with the massive claws and put him in the nest with its siblings.

We returned to the truck and again began the wait for a parent.

We watched as one circled overhead for a long time and were thrilled when the Momma or Pappa came and perched on the edge of the nest.

As a teacher, I am so glad we could use Eva and Alaina’s nest to rescue these amazing birds.

It was a great real-world learning opportunity.

We have a few Fish and Game members, myself included, check on them daily and they are still in the nest and doing well.


by Gayle Vass, New Brigden School principal

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