Sad News… Nature Struck Us a Blow

No pictures, just an update. With a sad heart, I have to tell you that our Eastern Screech Owl family suffered a tragic blow. A bee swarm, on the hunt for a new cavity to call home, found our owl house and decided to move in. Unfortunately, our 3 young owlets were still inside, and sadly we couldn’t help them, nor could their parents. The bee colony, in typical swarm fashion, was huge. The bee rescuers who came, along with other folks we talked to, said it was very unusual for bees to move into an occupied house. But our owlets were still quite small, and my guess is the bees didn’t see them as much of a concern.

We are devastated and are mourning the loss of 3 innocent baby owls. Such a pointless death, Mother Nature. But despite our unhappiness at the bees, they now have their own “official” hive and will hopefully work hard making honey for themselves and the beekeepers who rescued them.

Since this is our second swarm in a year, one of the bee rescuers brought out a special bee box to entice the next group of bees to move in there instead of our owl box. Let’s hope it works — perhaps we can be a regular source of bees for them, and something positive will come out of this tragic situation. Mama and Papa Owl, I hope you will return next year.

8 thoughts on “Sad News… Nature Struck Us a Blow

  1. That is truly a sad happening, but I’m so glad you could save the bees. Bees are a keystone species and are in such serious decline, that we all need to stop using pesticides and herbicides, add open dirt for native bees to live in, as well as dry stalks for them to use for nests, and keep flowers coming that that they can use. Einstein said we would only live four years after the bees became extinct.

    • We didn’t hesitate the save the bees, Marilyn, despite the horror of what they did. I’m so glad we’ve found a great beekeeper group to jump in to get the bees. I have a feeling we’ll have more opportunities to call them back for bees.

  2. That is so sad. I’ve seen on tv lately that big swarms have moved in someplace, stayed about 48 hours, and then moved on. Were the owl parents frantic?

  3. So sorry about your owlets. A squirrel ran into our Screech brood box, Mama Owl swooped out and the parents abandoned the nest. There were four eggs in the box when we removed them two weeks later at the advice of Audubon . We hoped the parents might breed again and re-nest, but that didn’t happen. They’re still around though and I see one or the other on occasion.

    It is odd that the bees moved in. We had a little swarm move in a few years ago, but the day after our owlets fledged, so no harm.

    • We’re crossing our fingers that our parent owls haven’t given up on our yard, Tina. Not sure how we’re going to keep the determined mama squirrel out, though — she gets busy nesting before the owls move in.

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