The Dniester River with Moldova on the left and Transnistria on the right. Photo taken December 10, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Soroca, Moldova.

Where are they going next? Back to Chisinau, Moldova on Tuesday. Then the Wednesday overnight train back to Bucharest.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A bit of a sad day here at the park...

One of the things we've enjoyed at the park is watching the great horned owls every spring. When we arrive in May, one of the first things we do is walk over to the nest to see how many babies there are.

The first year there was only one. But both last year and this year we've been able to watch two babies grow up and leave the nest.

We found out yesterday that one of them didn't survive.

It was found at the base of one of the two electrical transformer poles here. It obviously landed right where it shouldn't have, and electrocuted itself.

Not happy.

Poor thing. I bet it happened pretty quick though. 

Man, those are some big claws!

I phoned the Ministry of the Environment and spoke to our local conservation officer. He said that if anybody wanted to have the bird mounted, they have to have it inspected by them first and get a permit. Otherwise it is illegal to keep because it's a protected species. If nobody wanted it, he said to simply dispose of it. 

But we looked at it and decided that there were too many burn marks for it to be suitable to be stuffed.

We sure did feel bad. It's odd though how we don't feel bad for the many birds that the great horned owls have for dinner themselves! We often find the remains of other birds (usually just a leftover pile of feathers!) that we are certain were killed by the owls. But, it's just the circle of life.

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19 comments:

  1. If the pole has a transformer on it, an insulating shield can be easily installed to prevent future senseless electrocutions---contact the local electric utility. If they don't respond immediately, contact the local newspaper.

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  2. Sorry to hear about you loosing one of the babies, but these things do happen.

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    1. Thanks George! I would rather that it didn't happen on our watch and that we don't have to see them when something like this happens. :-(

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  3. If the ministry claims the owls are a protected species you figure the utility company would protect them.

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    1. You would think. I guess we'll see...

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  4. Hope you aren't living too close to the transformer. That is the reason Dad wanted to move from Connaught. I know a lot of people won't agree!

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    1. Nope not too close, in my opinion. Not bothered at all.

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  5. Awe so sorry...what a beautiful creature

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    1. Thanks! Yes, they are a beautiful creature and it hurts to see that it's life was cut short so needlessly.

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  6. You'd think that someone would be interested in the owl as far as statistics; location, gender, age, type of accident. The province has to have an ornithologist. Maybe it's not that important. How many are killed by transformers and power lines each year? If it were a bald eagle everyone would be up in arms. Just surprised by the answer you got.

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    1. You would think but I guess they aren't an "endangered" species so they don't bother to keep track of those statistics.

      Yes, we were a bit surprised too. However Kevin has called the power company and is waiting for a call back from someone there to see if some kind of shield or protection can be put up to prevent this from happening again. Guess we will see what happens.

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  7. So sad Kevin. Such a beautiful bird. How can they know where they should and should not land? Hope you get some response from the power company. Great idea Dugg.

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    1. We are still waiting for a call from the power company, I think Kevin will try calling them again. Hopefully they aren't just trying to push us aside. Yes, it was a good idea from Dugg, fingers crossed that we can get something done about it.

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  8. If it makes you feel any better, my son and I just spied two great horned owl babies in a tree near our house in the city (Winnipeg)! I thought it was a funny coincidence spotting them the same day I read this as we've never seen them here before.

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    1. Thanks Janis, it does make us feel a little better. Boy, that seems late in the year for them to be having their babies. Hopefully they won't have any problems with transformer poles! I am glad that you also will be able to watch them grow and leave their nest, it's pretty neat to see.

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  9. Oh heck, I hate to read this. Love owls. I know everything happens for a reason, tho the reason may not be clear to me, but this is sad news.

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    1. We love owls too, especially because it isn't a bird that you see too often. Kevin got a call back from the power company and they said that they can fix the problem and that it is on their list but jut not sure when they will get at it. It could be next week or it could be next month but they promised it will get done. So at least that is a step in the right direction to prevent it from happening again.

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    2. That's good. Thanks to Dugg for the suggestion and to Kevin for following through. It's sad to see a bird like that die for no good reason. Thank you both for caring!

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