Fledgling birds are those old enough to leave the nest but still developing their feathers. They fly but not easily or with expertise and generally would be under the watchful eye of parents for a while longer. They are not really grown enough to be out on their own. The birds shown will be cared for and assisted in learning to hunt for food. All of this must be done without allowing the birds to become trusting of humans. They must remain owls in all aspects and know they are wild and not closely associated with people. If all goes well, when ready and able the screech owls will be released into the wild.
I was with these owls about a minute, not longer. With five youngsters in the area they each had found a place to perch and did not try to fly with me present. They made soft little owl sounds and no screeches.
Thomas Haynes is a photographer working out of Clinton, Tennessee, a city just north of Knoxville. His photography is often of a fine arts direction but as in this post, his love of nature takes him again to the Clinch River Raptor Center, a rehabilitation and educational not-for-profit organization.. Visit Thomas and see more of his photography at Facebook
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