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A New Nest for Barred Owl Babies

May 10, 2024

After a storm passed through our region on April 4th, a large tree fell in a residential area. As City of Concord employees worked to remove it, they discovered two Barred Owl babies deep within the hollow. Luckily, the owls seemed uninjured, and it appeared as if a meal had recently been delivered by their parents! 

Since their original nest was no longer an option, CRC staff and volunteers worked to reunite them with their parents by installing a wicker basket to a nearby tree to serve as the new nest.  Once we placed them in the basket, we quickly confirmed that their parents were caring for the youngsters. Thankfully, these two “fluff balls” are now safe and sound, all because of a few dedicated, caring folks. Thank you to the City of Concord employees and everyone who was involved! 

These two Barred Owl babies are good reminders that nesting season is still underway! It’s also the time of year when many homeowners welcome warmer weather by spending more time outdoors, caring for their lawns and gardens. Living trees can form semi-enclosed holes called hollows, and, in most cases, these develop where a limb has broken off. What may appear as a defect to us are important habitats for a variety of animals, including Barred Owls and Eastern Screech Owls. Even dead trees can be nesting sites for these birds and should be protected when possible.  

How You Can Help 

  • Be aware of the animals in your yard. Take the time to survey the area and communicate areas to avoid with your landscaper or arborist.
  • If possible, plan tree trimming projects between November-January before nesting season starts. 
  • If you have a tree that absolutely needs maintenance, contact us or the NC Wildlife Resources Commission for tips on relocating nests. 
  • Always inspect the tree for active nests before you begin cutting or pruning. 
  • Next time you see a hole in a tree, see it as more of a potential home than an imperfection.