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I think we could all use a little good news about now. Preferably entirely non-virus-related, but I'll take what I can get.

I'll start.
Not sure if it has been the stress of the last week, or my love for creatures, but this really touched me.
And I'm proud to have had a small part in it.

One of the things that my employer does, and that I am heavily involved in, is hi-rise residential construction.
We do pour-in-place concrete structures with flying forms.
The forms have catwalks on them so that workers can vibrate the concrete around the rebar. It all looks something like this.
105549


So, the other day, twigs started appearing on one of the catwalks on the working floor.

Figuring it was a nest in the making, we tried to discourage it by sweeping them off several times.
Turns out that it was a red-tail hawk, and she was at least as stubborn as we were.
Last week an egg appeared. Uh-oh. Research suggests 4 weeks incubation and another 44-48 days for the chicks to fledge.

So, in consultation with a bio-sciences company, we came up with a plan.
Being a construction company, how hard can it be to add one more suite to the building?

105550



Nest and egg moved. And she didn't abandon it!

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Happy new tenant! We've even offered her 3 months free rent.

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She's still on the next this morning.

True story. Beat that!
:)
 

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In a similar vein about 15 years ago my wife, to her horror, started discovering severed squirrel tails in and around our driveway. I finally contacted a local Living Museum and was told we probably had an owl. They told us the owl probably hunted either late at night or early in the morning. Being a HUGE Harry Potter fan my 7 year old daughter set her alarm and got up every morning before dawn and waited outside at dusk for a chance sighting. Finally after a few days we discovered a Great Horned owl in the tree next to the garage. My daughter was elated! I gave her a pair of binoculars and she would sit and watch the owl come and go for hours before bedtime. She is a 22 year old college student today.

Last weekend cleaning up the leaves and yard debris from the winter I found a tail and showed it to her. Yesterday, doing routine maintenance on the family cars I found another. Last night, after dinner we both sat on the back porch and listen to the hooting. I hope we'll get a look soon.
 

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I sometimes have a Great Horned Owl perched on my house but I more often hear it at night. Bald Eagle in my yard on a semi regular basis too. Have been able to photograph both. Will see if I can dig up some photos.

Big change from NYC where I saw plenty of wildlife but usually of the rat and roach variety. Some of the rats I've seen in NYC would give that owl some trouble though.
 

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I think we could all use a little good news about now. Preferably entirely non-virus-related, but I'll take what I can get.

I'll start.
Not sure if it has been the stress of the last week, or my love for creatures, but this really touched me.
And I'm proud to have had a small part in it.

One of the things that my employer does, and that I am heavily involved in, is hi-rise residential construction.
We do pour-in-place concrete structures with flying forms.
The forms have catwalks on them so that workers can vibrate the concrete around the rebar. It all looks something like this.
View attachment 105549

So, the other day, twigs started appearing on one of the catwalks on the working floor.

Figuring it was a nest in the making, we tried to discourage it by sweeping them off several times.
Turns out that it was a red-tail hawk, and she was at least as stubborn as we were.
Last week an egg appeared. Uh-oh. Research suggests 4 weeks incubation and another 44-48 days for the chicks to fledge.

So, in consultation with a bio-sciences company, we came up with a plan.
Being a construction company, how hard can it be to add one more suite to the building?

View attachment 105550


Nest and egg moved. And she didn't abandon it!

View attachment 105551
View attachment 105552
View attachment 105553

Happy new tenant! We've even offered her 3 months free rent.

View attachment 105554

She's still on the next this morning.

True story. Beat that!
:)
Wow. Beautiful.
 

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I always thought owls were cute little feathery creatures, sort of cartoonish too when compared to hawks and eagles until I took my daughter to the opening of the local Bass Pro Shop. The Virginia Living Museum was there with a display of some of the wildlife they had rescued. One of the creatures was a "stuffed" owl. Or, so I thought... The owl was little, about 1/4 the size of a chicken and scruffy. I remember commenting to Elizabeth that the least they could have done was to bring decent looking specimens... It was about then that the owl turned it's head and looked at me! I was stunned it was alive and fascinated. The handler asked if I would like to hold it but I deferred and told her my daughter would get a big kick out of it but she said no, that the owl was too strong for a little girl. The handler gave me a heavy leather glove to wear and then perched the tiny little owl on my arm.

A cousin of mine is a Vet and I had a chance when I was a teenager to hold an anesthetized lion cub that had been injured wrestling with a sibling. I'll never forget that, while looking like a flabby stuffed toy, he felt like he had been carved out of stone. There is a great old picture of the two of us my daughter just loves.

Anyway, back to the owl... The owl had huge talons, big enough to reach about 1/2 way round my arm and when the handler handed it bite of meat he opened a mouth big enough to swallow a golf ball. I've never experienced anything like it. I'm pretty sure a full grow Great Horned owl could make a fine meal out of a whole bunch of New York rats, tails and all!
 

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Well, this is corona virus related but good news for change. From one the most hardest hit areas in the world and the birthplace of our 4C's...

I've never been one to give names to cars, motorcycles, guitars, etc, but I may have to reassess that in this extraordinary woman's honor.

 

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Anyway, back to the owl... The owl had huge talons, big enough to reach about 1/2 war round my arm and when the handler handed it bite of meat he opened a mouth big enough to swallow a golf ball. I've never experienced anything like it. I'm pretty sure a full grow Great Horned owl could make a fine meal out of a whole bunch of New York rats, tails and all!
My comment about NYC rats giving the owl a run was definitely in jest.

When I noticed and then photographed the owl on my roof I had my wife take the baby and small dog inside. People have been killed by owls (extremely rare of course). They are far more aggressive than eagles or hawks, and their grip strength combined with talon size and sharpness, make their feet equivalent to a german shepherd’s bite.

You don’t want to mess around with an owl. They are beautiful though!
 

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You have your Great Horned Owl and we have our Powerful Owl, known to rip the head off a possum. A magnificent bird. I occasionally see one, as I walk my beagle, perched on a telegraph pole at night, waiting patiently.
 

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I think the owl can read... I left for work earlier than usual today because I wanted to drop a couple of things off and what is sitting on the neighbors fence... The owl! He (she) is huge and beautiful. I read these posts after I got to my office and was thinking about my neighbor's little fluffy white dog... The two of them usually go for an early morning walk and he'd be just about the perfect size for an owl feast, I'll have to warn him when I get home today...
 

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Hmmm....did they need an environmental impact study for the addition ;-) I live near a park that has had an Bald Headed Eagle nesting pair for a few years. By law we can't get close to it....they have it roped off....but with my spotting scope I can see and take closeup photos. Those birds have had a rough life. One year one of the parent eagles flew into a high voltage line and was killed. The survivor found a new partner and they are doing OK although once it got wrapped up in some fishing mono filament at the lake while fishing for dinner. Luckily a kayaker was able to get to it and free it with no major injuries. Usually they have 1 or 2 chicks but one year they had 3 although one didn't survive.

By the way, when the eagle got caught in the fishing line the park decided to lower the level of the lake several feet so volunteers could clean out all the discarded fishing line pieces, plastic refuse, those plastic spacers that are used on 6 packs of soda and sometimes get stuck on birds. That was a good case of people taking action on behalf of our wildlife. I live in a small city but on the edge of farms and some light forested areas. Now that people are moving in to their area the coyotes (S/E Michigan) are quite well known and will wander through neighborhoods and their howls and group "singing" can be heard often. That is also a good reason to watch our small pets and kids ;)
 
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