Volunteers need help to feed baby owls

| 01/07/2010

(CNS): Local wildlife volunteers are calling on the public to help them in the rescue of two baby barn owls. Last week the two young birds were handed over to local non governmental organisation Cayman Wildlife Rescue by a member of the public.  Unfortunately the caller had the babies for two days before calling CWR so the team was unable to reunite them with their parents. The barn owlets have now been set up in a “Hacking Box”, which will be their new home for the next 2 or 3 months and are being fed by CWR volunteers nightly.  Although they are doing well, the volunteers desperately need money to help feed them. (Photo by Rogerio Pitta)

“They are doing very well and should take their first flight early next week, but they need your help,” said Alison Corbett, the volunteer Program Manager for Cayman Wildlife Rescue. “Frozen mice have to be shipped in via air cargo, which is very expensive – it is estimated that their care will cost around $600.”
Donations can be made to “Cayman Wildlife Rescue” and mailed to PO Box 31116 KY1-1205 or dropped off at the National Trust Office, please include details that you wish your donation to go towards the owls and provide your name and address.  Donations of $50 or more will receive a beautiful photo of the owls along with a certificate of appreciation. 
Cayman Wildlife Rescue is a program of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands.  This project is staffed entirely by volunteers with other full time jobs, and is financed 100% by donations from the public.  If you would like to help by donating funds or volunteering time, please contact Alison Corbett at caymanwildliferescue@gmail.com.

What to do if you find injured wildlife – Call the LIME Sponsored Wildlife Emergency Hotline at 917-BIRD(2473). Cayman Wildlife Rescue has a team of experienced and trained volunteers ready to assist in wildlife emergencies. The public are reminded to NEVER attempt to care for a wildlife animal themselves as they required special diets and veterinary care.

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  1. Cayman Wildlife Rescue says:

    I’d like to post a update on the two owls we have had in care.  Last Tuesday their hacking box was opened and they took to their first flight.  At first they were a little awkward, but they quickly took to flight and began circling the surrounding area.  They are now still remaining in the area and are flying free.

    Hunting is instinctive to these birds of prey and so far the two young Barn Owls seem to be doing very well in their new surroundings.  It is our hope that when they mature that one of them will return to their box to nest and have young of their own.

    Thank you to all of you who have donated for their care, the response has been wonderful.

    • Anonymous says:

      Any further update CWR? Don’t neglect your supporters!!

    • Cayman Wildlife Rescue says:

      Owl Update:

      The two young owls are still remaining in the area and have been seen foraging in the meadows.  They also have teamed up with a third owl.  We cannot confirm if this owl is acting as a surrogate parent or is possibly a potential suitor.  The three owls are roosting together and are seen flying and foraging together.

      Mice are still being placed out for the owls while they continue to perfect their hunting skills.  They will most likely be independent in another 2-4 weeks.

      Once again thank you to all of our supporters and to Cayman News Service for their support.  Your thank you packs will be on the way this week.

      • Cayman Wildlife Rescue says:

        Owl Update July 21

        The two young owls "Marco" and "Polo" as named by their caregiver are still returning to their hacking box nightly for food.  At this point they are taking about 3/4 of the mice provided which suggests they are also feeding themselves by hunting.  This will eventually taper off until they no longer need our support.  CWR will continue to provide them with supportive feeding, much in comparison to what their parents would do in the wild.

        We currently also have an owl nest box for sale for those interested please email caymanwildliferescue@gmail.com the cost is $350 and all proceeds benefit the program.  If you have a large yard or farm this nest box is excellent natural rodent control.  Please be warned though that there is a very strong smell associated with having an owl family on your property – nest boxes should be 150-200 yards away from any building or patio.




  2. Merilyn Phillips says:

    Thank you, CWR!! If only some of the kindness and compassion in your hearts could be frozen and fed to others who couldn’t care less!! 

    I remember the day when frozen mice were being sent on board one of the flights out of Miami. I was very puzzled and could not for the life of me understand the need in GCM for frozen mice!

    After reading this article my heart is touched and I am so grateful there are folks who give a damn about Cayman’s wildlfe.

    From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. 

    Donation on the way.


  3. peter milburn says:

    Its a pity that so many people in these islands do not see the importance of saving or helping with injured wildlife.I have never seen so many animals let loose after they lose their cute little charms and then become the problem of the humane soc.or indeed other folks who care.Its a disgrace how animals are treated here and I would love to see tighter laws in this regard with higher fines for mistreatment of these wonderful animals that enhance all our lives.

            Keep up the great work CWR and know that there are many of us out here that will help either by volunteering or by way of donations.

  4. Dr. Ian Malcolm says:

    Raptors? Are you serious? In captivity?

    Your scientists are so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should!

    • Lois Blumenthal says:

       They don’t stay in captivity. They were rescued from an untenable situation and will be released to the wild following standard protocols asap. 

      • Lois Blumenthal says:

         Ha! Tis true I don’t know my dinosaur movies. Thanks for the laugh, even though it’s on me! 

  5. Anonymous says:

    A $50 donation is on its way to you. I hope the owls do well and thank you to the amazing volunteers who give these beautiful animals a chance to live again!

  6. noname says:

    if only more people showed more appreciation for the wildlife of this country…..i applaud the efforts of this group and all of its volunteers.  being a thankless job, i know the reward is merely seeing an animal returned to its habitat safe and sound.  I sincerly hope to see the government and private sector really step up to the plate and support this worthwhile cause.

  7. Anonymous says:

    How about putting this article in the airport and tourists that are leaving the island can read about it and hopefully leave their Caymanian dollars behind?? I know I would be glad to make a donation to the island on certain causes and although it may only be a small donation….there are many people who would feel that same. IMO.

  8. Imported mice? says:

    Just a suggestion – how about frozen young hamsters or gerbils? Won’t have to fly them in and they work just as well. Seriously I am hoping these owls do well, I’m a big animal lover & I’m very happy to hear they are being well taken care of but I don’t think we need to fly in mice for them. Just a thought! 

    • Anonymous says:

      So we have loads of frozen or live hamsters/gerbils to give them? I dont follow.

      The $25 dollar donor

      • Imported mice? says:

         The average hamster/gerbil produces upwards of 6 babies per litter. At any given time Animal House has about 10 litters going PLUS adult hamsters/gerbils which are about mouse size really and could probably also be used. My child’s hamster had litters of never less than 11 and we couldn’t give them away fast enough! If you ask for private hamster/gerbil owners to make donations also then yes, I would say that we do have loads on island which could be more than adequate for these owls. 

        • Anonymous says:

          They need money, or frozen mice, or live gerbils, or dead hamsters? I’m confused.

          Really CNS, why are you continuing to mislead and befuddle everybody with your caustic remarks about these poor birds and their diet? May I remind you of the soon coming compulsory code of journalistic ethics; Clause 1 "all news stories must first be approved by the Ministry of Censorship, or face a CI$100,000 fine and 2 years in Fairbanks"


    • Cayman Wildlife Rescue says:

      To answer some questions regarding why we need to fly in mice:  We need to provide our animals in care with the best possible nutrition as they are already in a compromised state in captivity.  The mice are grown in a controlled environment and fed a nutritious diet.  They are the best option for raptors in care.  Also they require quite a lot of food at this point in their development, I think it would surprise most people just how much they require nightly.  We would be hard pressed to breed mice locally to keep up with their current demands.  Wild caught mice is not an option, the risks are too great due to contamination.  Animals which come into the program are already at a disadvantage, so we must always make the constant effort for their best possible care.  CWR has high standards for care and aims to meet the guidelines and standards of the NWRA and IWRC.  While $600 is a lot of money, wildlife rescue in general is a very expensive and time consuming field.  It is not abnormal for us to be spending several hundreds of dollars in food & veterinary costs for the rehabilitation of one animal – not to mention the long hours of our dedicated volunteers.  The demand for wildlife rescue is growing on island and this growing need must be met by the community.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for your hard work! I for one cannot put a price tag on the importance of helping these wild animals! What you guys do is AMAZING! Thank you!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Good work and good luck! A cheque for a modest $25 -all I can afford this month – will be mailed tomorrow.