These series of photos show another baby GHO on the ground. This was a successful replacement into the nest. Thanks to Jeff Myers for spotting this young bird, probably a bit over two weeks old, and calling me immediately. When I arrived I looked around for the nest but couldn't spot it. Then mom flew over to the side of a huge old cottonwood to where the nest was located, where a large branch had fallen off and the resulting cavity was perfect for her family. Jeff is also the photographer of this series.
This is the baby on the ground daring anyone to come near him.
I'm pointing out where the mom is sitting on a nearby branch and warning Matt to duck if she heads our way. The nest cavity is where that short branch is sticking out to the left about halfway up the trunk.
As there wasn't a ladder long enough to reach the nest I called Rocky Mountain Power here in Cody and they dropped everything to come with a bucket truck. Thanks to the excellent driving of Matt Parker, the truck was backed up underneath the nest. Then Matt took me up in the bucket to replace the wayward child. A quick peek showed two other owlets in the nest cavity. Because there are no branches near the nest, these babies will go immediately to the ground when normally they would become "branchers". A close eye will be kept so we can move them to a nearby tree with lots of branches we can reach by ladder. Mom will continue to feed and care for them.
Rocky Mountain Power is the best group of guys on the planet. This isn't the first time they've come to the rescue and are always willing to help. They are also wonderful supporters of IBR by awarding a yearly grant for the care and feeding of the birds.