Great Horned Owls are one of the most easily recognizable birds in the owl category. When you picture an owl, chances are this fellow with his tufted “ears” or a barn owl is what your mind conjures up.
With mottled coloring and feathers that carry them through the air silently, owls are generally regarded as mysterious creatures of the night.
With fall in full swing and Halloween coming up, owls are popping up everywhere. There are cute versions and spooky versions, but they’re definitely a staple of the season.
Baby owls — like many baby birds — are a disconcerting mix of cute baby and terrifying creature. Their fluffy baby feathers make them look huggable, but their sharp beak and talons are rather threatening.
A full-grown Great Horned Owl is a formidable predator (if you’re a small creature), but the babies are just… kind of silly-looking. And this video puts that on full display.
Oakley is a juvenile Great Horned Owl that was taken in by the Eagle Valley Raptor Center in Kansas. He came to them during a turbulent time in his life, and was all alone and in need of help and companionship.
“Hi everyone, This is Oakley the juvenile Great Horned Owl,” explained the YouTube caption on the video. “He came to us after a Tornado hit in Kansas a few years ago.”
“Whenever we get babies, we try to put them together for comfort and security. He was by himself so I put a puppet in with him until I got some other ones his age.”
“I had just fed him and I use a camoflauged (sic) sheet over me so he doesn’t see me as a food source,” the poster, Raptor Rehabber, explained. “I wanted to see what he would do when he heard a strange voice, so I played the puppet.”
“He is always leaning against it. It gives him comfort and keeps him from stressing,” Oakley’s caretaker at the Eagle Valley Raptor Center in Kansas told Reshareworthy.
“Here are the results! I only did this once,” the YouTube caption continued.
“We got in a few more a few days after this video, and we put them together. He was finally released a few months after this video.”
“Our center is a nonprofit organization, that takes in on average 175 birds a year that have bee(n) injured or orphaned. We also find forever home for ones that cannot go back to the wild, but are comfortable living in captivity and become educational ambassadors.”
Oakley screeches right along in the video, bobbing his head and snuggling up to the puppet. He’s out in the wild now, but who knows? Maybe at times he recalls his early days and catches himself humming along.
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