Published: May 8, 2013
Owls can be dangerous
People need to know that Great Horned owls, majestic creatures that they are, can be very dangerous. My maternal grandfather had a great influence in my life, both through his outstanding character and through stories he told me to help guide me through life. One of the stories he told took place when he was 17 years old (that would have been in 1900).
A Great Horned owl had stolen chickens from their yard. Grandpa was an outdoorsman and even at an early age knew how to handle guns (another story for another time). One day he spotted the owl in a tree and, as he had his rifle with him shot the owl (remember, this was in 1900). Picking up the supposedly dead owl he put it in their shed and went to tell his mother. She came out to see with grandpa to see for herself, but when grandpa opened the shed door the owl had revived and clamped its powerful talons around Grandpa's left biceps. He had to literally beat the owl to death and then in great pain, with the talons still firmly clamped onto his biceps, literally pull them off one by one.
When he finished telling this story, he rolled up the sleeve of his shirt to show me the scars that he still carried some 40 years later. Parents, both for the owl's sake and for the safety of your children, please keep your distance!
Pictures are an open invitation
The picture of the owls and the deer in Rockrimmon and any other pictures like those are an open invitation for those that think they have every right to harass creatures of the wild. The tape and signs are there for a reason. Please respect them if you feel the need to go see the owls, etc. The solution is for the media to let them be and not print pictures no matter how cute they may be.
This is a sign of rebirth
The picture of the Great Horned owl's nest in The Gazette left me ambivalent. I feared it would bring attention to something and cause anxiety among the owls. I follow nests such as this on the Internet every year. And, yes, I did go and take my own pictures - I've never had an opportunity such as this before - and remained a respectful distance from the nest. I hope others will do the same, and not cause difficulties for the Walgreens, and especially for the nest.
Driving along the edge of the Waldo Canyon fire area - also my first time - I was stunned at the damage still so graphic. Viewing the nest, the thought came to me that this is a sign of rebirth for the Mountain Shadows area. Life does go on, in spite of the terrible tragedy felt by so many, and may these baby Great Horned owls be a sign that the future can be bright. I only hope for their successful fledge, and life to come.
A child's plea for the owls
I was reading The Gazette Saturday morning and my 7-year-old granddaughter saw the picture of the owls and asked me about that. Kenzie did not like what was transpiring with the owls and asked me if she could say something to someone, so these are her thoughts totally unprompted by Pa (aka Grandpa).
Kenzie: 'Why are you people bothering the owls? Can you please stop bothering them - it is rude. I would like you to not bother them. The owls don't like it. Will you please stop bothering them? Do you think the owls are very happy with you bugging them? I think the owls will not like it so they might fly away. And they may not come back. '
People do not respect nature
No wonder there is no respect for the nesting owl's space. The Gazette printed exact directions to the spot - told people where to park, etc. It advertised where to go!
The picture of the two babies was good, but if you want people to respect the owl's space, do not advertise where the nest is. People do not have respect for nature - they want to see it but they overstep their bounds.
Should learn to respect the law
I am disgusted and horrified by the hooligans who have allowed their children to harass and molest the nesting owls. All nesting birds (not just endangered species) are protected by federal laws under the Migratory Birds Protective Act. In short, what these people are doing is a federal offense. I wish officials from the Colorado Division of Wildlife (game wardens) or local police should arrest a few of these perpetrators to make them an example and to educate the public about the law.
Since some people don't appear to have any respect for the animals, maybe they should learn to respect the law.