May 02
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Baby Barred Owls

Baby Barred Owls

We are excited to announce we have partnered with The Cornell Lab of Ornithology to give families nationwide something to hoot about with a live Barred Owl Nest Cam. Children and their parents can join in the excitement by tuning into the live streaming video to see what a day in the life of a Barred Owl family is like. Not only do families get a unique glimpse into the lives of one of nature’s endearing bird species, but they are also able to learn about the different stages of their development and watch the fledglings as they venture out on their own.

Through the live video, which can also be found on AllAboutBirds.org, as well as the Wild Birds Unlimited website, children have the opportunity to explore the remarkable lifecycle of these dynamic creatures as they watch the baby owlets open their eyes, stretch their legs and wings, interact with their family, and evolve into young owls. The Barred Owl Cam is a great way to introduce children to nature while building science skills by encouraging to use their imagination to make observations such as “What will Dad bring next; a snake, a fish or a crayfish?”

“I have been watching the owl cam during work and find it incredibly relaxing,” said Rachel Smith of Real Realm Distribution, Inc., who learned about the owl cam at a recent conference she co-attended with Wild Birds Unlimited employees. “I have shared the cam with fellow colleagues as well as friends. It has really opened our eyes and has helped my son learn about Barred Owls.”

For the past 15 years, Jim Carpenter, Founder & CEO of Wild Birds Unlimited, has hosted a camera-equipped owl box in his wooded backyard. Set more than 30 feet high against the trunk of a pignut hickory tree, the box was home to a series of occupants throughout this winter, including squirrels and raccoons. Earlier this spring, a mama Barred Owl set up residence in the nest box to raise a family with her mate. In March, she has laid three eggs which all hatched in April.

“I am very honored that our owl cam was chosen by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology to be a featured cam on their website,” said Carpenter. “They have been true professionals giving guidance and encouragement throughout the project. The Lab has enabled us to expand the network of viewers from customers of Wild Birds Unlimited to a world-wide network of viewers. It is a rare privilege to be able to watch these wonderful owl parents raise their family with an incredible diverse food selection from the woods and fields behind my house. My hope is that even more people watch this wonderful cam as it helps us understand the miracle and importance of birds in our environment.”

To help celebrate the Barred Owl Cam, Wild Birds Unlimited and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology are encouraging people to help name the owlets. On May 6 and May 7, viewers can visit the contest page to vote for their favorite names. The winning names will be announced on May 8.

The young owls will leave the nest at approximately four to five weeks of age and remain in the branches of the nest tree until they are able to fly at around 10 weeks of age. They will stay together with their siblings throughout the summer and are fed by their parents. Then, the young will strike out on their own in late summer when the parents slowly wean them from feedings. Who will be the first to leave home and venture out on their own? Stay tuned to find out!

ABOUT WILD BIRDS UNLIMITED
Wild Birds Unlimited is the original and largest franchise system of backyard bird feeding and nature specialty stores with more than 280 locations throughout the United States and Canada. Wild Birds Unlimited specializes in bringing people and nature together with bird feeding and nature products, expert advice and educational events. Wild Birds Unlimited recently ranked No. 9 overall and No. 1 in the Retail category on Franchise Business Review’s prestigious 2014 Franchisee Satisfaction Awards Top 200 Franchises list. Visit our website and shop online at www.wbu.com. To learn how you can open your own Wild Birds Unlimited, visit www.wbufranchise.com.

Apr 05
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Dad brings home a crawdad for dinner

Dad brings home a crawdad for dinner

Dad keeping a watchful eye

Dad keeping a watchful eye

Dad off to get more crawdads

Dad off to get more crawdads

Mom enjoying a crawdad for dinner

Mom enjoying a crawdad for dinner

How cool is this! Jim Carpenter, owner and CEO of WBU, got some great shots of the Barred Owl family doing what every typical family does, have dinner together. Thursday, April 3rd, we had about 4” of rain here in the Indianapolis area. So, the crawdads must have been out on top of their little clay chimneys. Dad, the good provider, caught one and brought it home for dinner.

Stay tuned, we are expecting the first egg to hatch very soon. Watch our livestream cam on our web site to check in on the family.

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Apr 13
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Wild Birds Unlimited’s Owl Box Cam Resident
Learn more about owls

Everyone at Wild Birds Unlimited is excited to announce the launch of Owl Box Cam. For a second consecutive year, we have the pleasure of watching a mama Barred Owl raise her young and share in all the milestones. Currently mama is on two eggs, which should be hatching very soon!

An 11 year project, this is the second year we have successfully attracted a Barred Owl to this nesting box, located in northwest Indianapolis, Indiana. Owl Box Cam is live streaming during daylight hours (US Eastern Time).

Enjoy many of the milestones from last year’s brood (Sarah & Percy) by watching these recorded videos. With Owl Box Cam, we hope to bring people and nature together by sharing our joy and passion for the hobby of backyard bird feeding and the natural world all around us.

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May 14
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Last night we watched the owl box from our deck as both parents were calling to each other from different parts of the woods.  We could see the top of one of the owlets head as it tried to look outside at the big world and find its parents. It won’t be long until they leave the box and finish maturing outside of  the box just living in the trees. The parents will feed them all summer and we will be able to hear them calling their special hissing sound all summer.

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May 11
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Baby owls Sarah and Percy are now over 3 weeks old and are growing rapidly.  Since the weather is also warmer, they are mostly left alone in the nest while their parents hunt and bring food to the nest box. They will likely be in the box for just about 7 to 10 more days and then leave the box to continue growing up all summer in our backyard.

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