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Vancouver Island woman documents owlets daily after unexpected encounter in the woods


CENTRAL SAANICH, B.C. — For the past few weeks, Dana Crow’s been walking the woods wielding her phone.

“I’m constantly waiting for the perfect opportunity to get a picture of the babies,” Dana says.

But Dana’s not referring to the baby chicks that she’s raising back home.

“It’s kind of an addiction,” she smiles, before gently picking up one the yellow-feathered babies.

Dana was also not referring to the flock of adult chickens she checks, before enthusing over their multicoloured eggs.

“At work they call me the crazy chicken lady,” Dana says, after showing affection to her fowl. “Now I’m the crazy bird lady!”

Dana started earning the new nickname after she went for a walk in the woods with her dog, who suddenly dove down to the ground and came up with mouthful of fluff.

“Fortunately she dropped it,” Dana says. “And then I realized it was a baby owl.”

She took a picture of the bird, which looked unblinking into the lens with its big yellow eyes.

“It was the fluffiest little thing,” Dana says. “And the beak was going click, click, click.”

Dana contacted a member of a wild bird rescue group, who came to ensure the baby owl was OK, before building it a new home out of a laundry hamper high above the ground.

“I was thinking that was kind of an interesting nest for a bird,” Dana smiles, looking up at the owl she named Basket Baby. “But I can see how it’s worked.”

Dana’s been taking pictures of the baby daily, watching how the bird’s parents care for it, and seeing how quickly it’s growing. “I have a big heart.”

Dana says she’s been a childhood educator for more than 40 years. “And I do feel like I’m responsible for these [young owls] in some way.”

And did you notice she mentioned more than one baby owl?

Dana now takes daily (dog-less) walks around the forest to check on the well-being of Basket Baby’s four siblings.

“I see you up there,” Dana says pointing her camera up another nest made of twigs.

This nest, discovered after the rescue, includes one baby that seems to be napping, while the other peers down at us, keeping watch.

“They come down when they’re ready,” Dana says. “And they spend up to two weeks on the ground before they start climbing up branches and hang out in the trees.”

Dana discovered two more owlets perched on top of a tree stump. She named the inseparable siblings the Twins.

Dana says she always stays a safe distance away when taking pictures of the Twins thriving near the forest floor. Their parents are inevitably watching from nearby branches.

“I really feel blessed,” Dana says. “Not everyone gets this opportunity.”

Perhaps this feathered family of five feels the same, that instead of encountering a “crazy bird lady,” they’re being protected by a compassionate one. Top Stories

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