Families with children ages 7 and up are invited to Sweetbriar Nature Center, 62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown for a Creatures of the Night program on April 30 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Nocturnal and crepuscular animals have different features and behaviors to help them be active in the dark. After taking a twilight hike, you will learn about creatures that are active at night. Meet some fluffy and scaly nocturnal creatures and learn about all their amazing adaptations! Please bring a flashlight, bug spray and dress warm. Masks are mandatory. $10 per person. Advance registration required by visiting www.sweetbriarnc.org. For more information, call 631 979-6344.
On April 7, I discovered a baby great horned owl that had fallen from its nest in Miller Place.
After contacting New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, I was told to check on it the next day. On April 8, the owl was still there and looked very weak. I contacted the DEC and they put me in touch with the Save the Animals Rescue Foundation, a Middle Island wildlife nonprofit that helps rehabilitate injured animals.
They recommended I bring the owlet to them to evaluate, and that it should later be returned to the nest, but an arborist would be needed with a bucket truck. I brought the owlet to Lori Ketcham, the director at the foundation, who determined it was dehydrated and hungry. They stabilized it.
“The owl was cold, and had been flat out on the ground,” Ketcham said. “The moms aren’t able to pick their babies off the ground.”
I contacted Dan Goodman, one of the owners of Lucas Shaun Tree Service.He arranged for a bucket truck at no charge and returned the owl to the nest with volunteer John Picerno from STAR. The owl is back in the nest with two other owlets and the parents are relaxed and caring for their family.
The owls are doing well and growing quickly.
To contact the STAR foundation, either call 631-736-8207 or email at [email protected] Those interested can visit the website at www.savetheanimalsrescue.org if they wish to donate.
Richard Gass is a Miller Place resident.
Additional reporting by Kyle Barr
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