3 great horned owl babies returned home in Winnipeg
6-week-old owlets were knocked to the ground during strong winds on Friday
Three baby great horned owls looked back at their rescuers from their brand new nest on Saturday in Winnipeg.
The six-week-old owls were put back in a tree in a new nest made out of a basket and some twigs by Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation volunteers.
"It was a bit of a struggle," said Lisa Tretiak, president and co-founder of Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation, on CBC's Weekend Morning Show Sunday morning.
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During the strong winds on Friday, the baby owls' nest was knocked to the ground, taking two babies with it and leaving a third stranded in the tree.
Some photographers who had been watching the nest contacted Tretiak to make sure the owls were uninjured and to, hopefully, find a way to reunite the little family.
"We would not want any of the public to attempt even grabbing a hold of the babies," Tretiak said, adding people should call Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation if they are in a similar situation.
"They can be quite dangerous. The mother is going to be very protective. They could have received some injuries."
Luckily, the little owls came away from the fall injury-free but getting them back home was a struggle.
It took about 90 minutes for volunteers to make their way up to the tree, carefully secure the new nest and transport each owl, which is about the size of a soccer ball, back into the nest using a makeshift pulley and buckets.
It was also a stressful time for the mother owl, who was probably pretty worried about her babies, Tretiak said.
"Mom was around while they were doing it," she said.
"However, a mob of crows were keeping her at bay."
With the recovery effort over, volunteers are keeping their eyes on the little owls to make sure, once the crows are gone, the mother returns.
Tretiak heard that late last night the mother owl was making her way back into the area.