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Thanks to Dan Powell, Davey's Naples, Florida, district manager, this owlet reunited with its mother.

Branching Out: From Saving Trees to Rescuing Animals

September 2, 2014

We love the dogs, cats and birds we welcome to our homes and consider members of our own families. And it’s important we help protect the wildlife inhabiting our parks, forests and communities, too. But sometimes, our furry friends scamper into precarious situations—or suffer from poor environmental conditions—and require our attention.

Davey crews from coast to coast have helped return several cats, owls and even eagles to their homes or safer habitats. Read below for some of their stories!

A 50-Foot Plunge to Safety: Naples, Florida             

Generally weekends are for relaxing, but not when you get a phone call that an owlet has taken a 50-foot plunge from its nest.

Dan Powell, district manager of the Davey residential tree care office, was contacted by the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, a center that protects wildlife environments and animals in the area in which Powell frequently volunteers. Powell picked up Foreman Derek Harris and headed to the residence where the owlet was located. The owlet, a baby great horned owl, had been on the ground, uninjured, away from its mother and another owlet for two days.

Since there were power lines running close to the tree where the owls were currently residing, Powell and Harris decided a re-nesting was necessary. They decided upon a slash pine near the original nest. Harris climbed the tree to rescue the second owlet and return the two to the new, safer nest.

“We had to create a game plan because these owls are aggressive and will attack,” Powell says. “When Derek climbed the tree, the mother watched us from about 100 feet away. The homeowner had to watch to make sure she wouldn’t attack.”

The reunited family of great horned owlets in a new, safe nest within a slash pine tree.

Harris was able to safely rescue the second owlet by putting it in a rope bag and lowering it to the ground where Powell waited. They re-nested the owlets and returned them to the mother.

“This was so rewarding and gratifying,” Powell says. “It was a Sunday, but we just said we had to do what we needed to do to rescue these owls.”

Leisurely Walk-Turned-Rescue: St. Paul, Minnesota

Glen Olson, safety specialist at S&S Tree, a Davey company, encountered a distressed seabird caught in a fishing line in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

Instead of calling for immediate help, Olson, along with another observer on the beach, rescued the bird. First, to protect themselves from the 5-inch beak on the bird, they gently and safely put a t-shirt on the head of the bird, snipped the fishing line off the leg and removed two hooks from the bird’s wing.

When the bird did not immediately fly off, Olson had a feeling the bird was either too injured or exhausted to flee the area. After additional gatherers on the beach grew concerned, one person used a phone to find a local seabird hospital, the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary. The bird was then transported for proper treatment and identified as an immature gannet.

As Olson confirms, “The staff said there was no reason why it wouldn’t recover.”

Check the blog tomorrow for more animal rescue stories from Davey crews!

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