Friday, May 01, 2009

Part 3: The Return of Fritz

This actually happened Wednesday night, but there was just so much to tell that I wanted to hold everyone in suspense for another day. (Though some people - and I mean you Mom - looked ahead in the videos so they already know how this went down - which was very well in case you can't handle the suspense of waiting to the end of the blog.)

To catch everyone up, Fritz was taken for a check up on Tuesday.
Edgar came a-calling on Wednesday morning.
And Fritz came home Wednesday night.

We got a call from RAPTORS, Inc that Fritz seemed fine and they would be returning her to us at dusk. Our first point of discussion was, 'you mean Fritz is a girl?'

Yup, turns out the female great horned owls (GHO) are bigger than the males and Fritz was already the size of some full grown males; big, beautiful bird that she is! Also turns out that GHO parents have been known to stuff one baby more than the other (often clutches of 2 though they may have more.) So, while Fritz is bigger than Edgar, since Edgar can fly he is likely a little (maybe a couple of days) older. Fritz might also have been having trouble flying because she is so big.

But all of this is nothing to worry about. GHO babies often come down from the nest before they are ready to fly and the parents will simply feed them on the ground.

So..... where does this leave us?
With one great big raptor that needs to be put back in a tree of course!
And how does one do that?
By giving him to the man eagerly asking questions and wearing welding gloves!

The RAPTOR volunteer transferred Fritz to Michael in preparation for Fritz's release. Michael was THRILLED (to put it mildly.)

Raptor Inc did loan Michael a spiffy pair of somewhat longer gloves to replace the welding/cooking gloves that he had on before they arrived.

The kids also thought this whole thing was pretty cool. Emma and Brendan were wondering if they could pet Fritz. (The answer was 'no' in case you were wondering.) Tovina kept saying 'bay-ee ohww' (baby owl) and 'hooo hoooo'. So there was really something for everyone.

And here is Michael releasing Fritz into the wild... whether she wants to go or not.

The hope that Fritz would climb up the tree the way Edgar was able to, but she didn't seem to be in the mood for such antics and decided to hop down out of the tree and waddle off into the woods.
We got to watch the Duchess flying around with dinner in her talons (squirrel tartare), and Edgar stuck around and watched everything unfold. The Duke was nowhere to be seen, though he was probably in the area.

And just in case you haven't figured it out by now, you can see more pictures at Owl and a longer video on YouTube

No comments: