- Author: Laura J. Van der Staay
This year, Kearney had the pleasure of watching four great horned owls mature. We considered this to be a nice addition to the Kearney family. Themis Michailides indicated that owls in ancient Greece represented the bird of wisdom! In fact, when he attended high school in Greece, it was mandatory that all the students wear a hat with an owl-embroidered on the front of the hat.
Kearney staff noticed that a great horned owl was nesting in one of the trees in our north gravel parking lot. When the tree did not have very many leaves, the female parent remained vigilant in the nest with the nestlings. After the young owls became fledglings, the female parent would fly to a nearby tree to watch them. At first, we thought that there were two fledglings, and in the end, we discovered that there were four. All of them became branchers, moving out to the branches at about 6 weeks old. They started to fly about a week later and survived to be independent. Luckily, when one branchling fell out of the nest on a Friday, Gwen Conville, Tayoko Handa and Matthew Fidelibus came by to look at the owls before going home. They captured the fallen young owl and took it to a Critter Creek animal rescue volunteer, who indicated that the bird would probably be flying in a week. The three juveniles that did not fall can still be seen in different areas of Kearney. Please enjoy the following pictures that were taken by many different Kearney personnel, including but not limited to Dan Felts, Matthew Fidelibus, Larry Schwankl, and Laura Van der Staay.