By Wade Faast, Staff Reporter
On May 15, CNM security officers and employees of Hawks Aloft worked to help a fallen great horned owlet at the CNM Westside campus.
The owlet fell from its nest in a nearby tree, since the owlet remained on the ground in a high traffic area CNM contacted Hawks Aloft, said CNM security officer Ben Encinias.
Hawks Aloft, sent out volunteer Sophia Borowsky to check on the bird and check the situation. Borowsky gave the owlet a physical exam and determined it to be in good health with no obvious injuries, she said.
Shortly after placing the owlet in a tree to keep it out of harms way, Hawks Aloft raptor rescue coordinator Lisa Morgan arrived with the necessary supplies to build the owlet a new nest in a nearby tree.
Morgan explained that the nest the owlet had been living in was too small and inadequate for a bird of its size, which likely explains why it fell to the ground.
The great horned owl adults had taken over a roadrunner nest, Encinias said.
After deeming the owlet was indeed undersized, and was not receiving enough nutrients an amino acid solution was given to help hydrate and provide nutrition for the young owl, Morgan said.
The new nest was built in a tree located in the northwest corner of the campus courtyard and marked off with caution tape and warning signs.
When the great horned owl adults first moved into the courtyard about 2 months ago CNM security taped off a 30 foot perimeter around the tree they were inhabiting, said CNM security Lieutenant Michael Kerr.
“After the baby owl hatched we increased that perimeter to approximately 100 feet because our primary goal is protecting students, faculty and the wildlife,” he said.
Lt. Kerr advises that all students and staff respect the warning signs and caution tape, and give the owls the space they need.
The owls are protected by federal law, Morgan said.
“You can’t harass, you can’t take, and you can’t pet the owls,” she said.
Three people have been attacked by the adult owls, two employees and one student, none suffered serious injury though, said Lt. Kerr.