I tried, this afternoon, to return the two baby owls to their parents care in Basin. After driving the almost 60 miles I discovered the original nest tree site. The home place was a dump, there was a dead cow in the pasture and the closest tree that might have worked as a substitute nest tree was way more than I could handle. I probably would have been okay if I was 20 and fit but this was beyond the reach of my extension ladder.
I never saw any Great Horned Owls in the surrounding trees so we all came back home and they're now in a very large basket lined with grasses. I am also wearing a GHO mask whenever they are being fed or handled so they won't become imprinted on my face. I contacted friends at The Owl Foundation in Vineland, ON, Canada for information and they said the babies were about seven and ten days old. There was probably a third egg laid in the middle but didn't hatch.
These babies are super eaters and tomorrow I'll bring in my resident owl to see if she'll take over the feeding/brooding duties. Or at least become a role model so they'll grow up independent and knowing they're owls.
Here's SMIDGE and the babies. I don't know if she'll feed them but her nearby presence will give them some reassurance.