Homeowner near The Woodlands getting praise for letting nature run its course

March 15, 2013 8:34:10 PM PDT
The Woodlands is known for its namesake, the trees that fill up its forests. But now, something that's in one tree is what's getting a lot of attention.

We live alongside nature but only when our worlds collide do many of us pay more attention to it. Now we have a story about baby owls and a homeowner's choice to let them slow down his spring clearing.

Budding trees and baby animals are sure signs that spring is on the way.

"Everything that is Texas native wildlife is born this time of the year," said Janette Winklemann with the Friends of Texas Wildlife Center.

Dead trees also reveal themselves, sometimes revealing something else as well.

"They are baby barred owls," Winklemann said.

Two little baby birds -- that's what the homeowner found when he was about to clear a dead tree from his property near The Woodlands. They are nesting inside the cavity at the top. From the ground, a feather is all that gives them away. Nearby, though, their protective mother or father watches over them and us.

It is the perfect habitat for them.

"It's very common for most owl species to nest in the tree cavity," Friends of Texas Wildlife Center Director Lisa Wolling said.

And so the homeowner has agreed to wait to take the tree down until the owls are done nesting.

"He's absolutely doing what we want people to do," Winklemann said.

It's good news at the Friends of Texas Wildlife Center, where a week ago, a little barred owl came in because she had been found abandoned. Wolling will now mother it until it can be released, while these little guys will have the real thing courtesy of a courteous landlord.

"I think it's awesome," Wolling said.

It'll take about two months for the baby birds to mature and leave the nest.

Wildlife experts encourage people to refrain from displacing any kind of nest if possible. It's dangerous for the babies and they might even relocate to a place you don't want them to, like your home.

We worked on this story with our partners at Houston Community Newspapers. You can read more about it in The Woodlands Villager.
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