Sunday, April 28, 2013

Wildlife in the park

the view out the window by our table
Our current stay is at Goose Island park, which is run by La Crosse county and very popular.  It's situated on the backwaters of the Mississippi River and has an abundance of water fowl and other animals.

this is in the more wooded section of the park

When I look out the window by my table I can see the river and the bluffs beyond that.  We are surrounded by the sights and sounds  of red wing blackbirds, geese, egrets, herons, woodpeckers and the most exciting...owls.

Waldo the baby owl
There is a great horned owl with two (maybe three) babies in a nest here in the park.  The one is literally "out on a limb" and his name is Waldo.

He had fallen out of the nest and was on the ground for two days, during which the mother would swoop and attack anyone that went near him. 
Mama and the other little owl

Finally he was rescued by the proper authorities and after receiving xrays to make sure he was okay, he was placed back near the nest.  He wasn't put into the nest for fear that the prescence of a human that close would cause the others to bolt as well.
Waldo started yawning - must be bored watching all of us

A man who had seen the process described how the mother stayed on her perch, about 8 feet above the branch, and watched while the ladder was braced against the tree and Waldo was carried to his newest perch.

Apparently she feeds at night and has been seen providing food to Waldo first and then to the other (or others...jury is out on this) one in the nest.

There has been a faithful gathering of photographers watching this family but if it appears it is causing stress to them, they all back off and leave or at least go sit in their cars to watch.  The local camera club is very much into wildlife and nature photography and respects the limits of those who provide these opportunities.

We're thinking the little one might be gone by next weekend, so I'll be watching daily and keeping you posted.

Long Live the Queen of Owls


  1. Have you ever been to Willow River State Park? My wife and I have been in love with it for about 5 years, and have followed the wildlife there the whole time (nesting sites, fawns that grow up to have fawns...) Just a hint.

  2. He is at a difficult age for rescue. I agree, the others would bolt then there would be two (or three) out of the nest. We have rescued younger baby owls by putting a cloths basket on a lower branch(still high enough to be safe from predators) and putting them in it ... the parents would care for them just as Mom and Dad took care of Waldo ... isn't nature wonderful :)

    It is Sunday, but Lori always puts the MOM link up a day early. You can still put your post on tomorrow ... I am assuming you will have another MOM post for us to enjoy :)

    What a great place for you to be parked and it doesn't seem to be so cold ... I think we must be the only cold place left. Oh wait, it was warm today ... can't get used to the idea. Glad you are home safe and sound and enjoying the beautiful natural setting near your home ... very different than Arizona. How long will you be staying in Wisconsin? Are you home for the summer? I will be following your coverage of Waldo ... he looks like he is getting close to fledging, so you may be right, they may be gone soon. But, they do hang with their parents throughout the summer so you may see him around. Hoot, Hoot Queen of the Great Horned Owl Baby ...

    Andrea @ From The Sol

  3. How exciting to be able to watch Waldo grow. I've never seen an owl (in person) so this must be soooo much fun. I'll be watching to see more photos of the owls. Lucky you to have such a beautiful view from your table. If I had a bucket list, one of the things that would be on it would be to live near the water. You have a great night, hugs, Edna B.

  4. Wonderful post! I love all things critter! I hope this all goes well. Thank you for sharing.