Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Karma is a theory of moral causation that is prevalent in many of the religions that originated in or around ancient India. While I do not really prescribe to any of these religions, or any particular religion at all for that matter, I do believe in the basic principle of karma and back on May 3rd I got my own little taste of karma. It was the day after The Raptor Center's Spring Raptor Release and I decided to head back to Hyland Park to search for a great horned owl nest that one of the other volunteers had told me was located in the park.
From what I was told the nest was located somewhere near the walking trail on the south side of Hyland Lake. So when I arrived I decided to head west around the lake. I had not walked very far when I noticed a large black bird in tree further down the path. I guessed right away that it was a crow but it appeared a bit strange. It was flapping its wings a lot but did not fly away so I thought that perhaps it had something that it was eating. As I got closer I found that the bird was actually in trouble. It had somehow gotten itself rapped up in fishing line and was now caught in a tree. There obviously did not appear to me any way that this bird was likely to free itself so I decided to head back to the visitor center to get some help. One of the park employees at the visitors center followed me back to the tree where the crow was tied up and called park services to come and help.
Since I new that the crow would get some help I went on my way around the lake in search of the owls nest. I did not get a lot of details on the nest or its location so I just followed the path and checked out all of the larger nests that I found but soon I came to the end of the path and did not see any owls.
Since there was several smaller paths that branched off of the paved path I thought that perhaps the nest was near one of these paths so on my way back I decided to try a different path. This just led me back to the paved path so I decided to head back the way I came. Perhaps they might be able to give me some information about the location back at the visitors center.
It was then when I heard a single crow begin to go into mobbing mode. Since I knew that there were owls in the area and crows are incessant about mobbing owls I decided to check it out. I walked back up the paved path a little ways and was able to locate an adult owl being mobbed by a single crow back in the woods.
Since there were quite a few tree branches between me and the owl I could not really get any good pics so I decided to look around in the area to see if I could find the nest. While I was looking the crow finally gave up and flew away. A few minutes later the owl took off from its perch deep in the woods and landed on a dead tree that was closer to the path. I was excited because now the owl was more in the open and it might be possible for me to get some pics. So I moved back down the path and took focus on the owl.
That was when I discovered that this was the nest. One of the chicks came up out of a crack in the dead tree to greet mom. She checked on the chick and made sure that everything was OK and then flew off back into the woods. A few minutes later a second chick appeared and I was able to photograph them both. After clicking off a few gigabytes worth of pictures of the chicks I headed off down the path to investigate some recent pileated woodpecker holes in a different tree. I stopped by again on my way back and found that mom had returned and was sitting on the nest keeping the owlets warm.
On my way back out of the park I stopped by to check on the tangled crow. It was gone. I stopped for a second and smiled. Because I had taken the time to do the right thing a crow was now free and because of a lone crow I was able to find the owl nest that I was looking for. Perhaps it was the same crow and perhaps not, either way I do believe that it was karma.


Gaelyn said...

Karma just seems natural in nature. Nice owl shots. Thanks for saving the crow.

Anonymous said...

Oh your owl photos are spectacular. I do believe in karma too.

Chris said...

Well, I can tell you, I'm not really close to any religions neither but I do believe in Karma!!!
I guess you had your day by saving this crow, and I would also say that you got your day by taking these owls pictures. The nest pictures are awesome and everybody would like to have some like this! Really well done!

Unknown said...

I enjoyed this post a lot. The crow wanted to tell you thanks. Perhaps it knew you once in another form. :-)

The pictures are fantastic. Thank you!

Bim said...

Well - your freeing the crow sure produced some fantastic pictures (which do upstage a pretty Watery Wednesday entry just a little bit :)

Happily Retired Gal said...

I love when things work like this! Your owl photos are marvelous ... thanks for sharing your experience and the lesson.
Hugs and blessings,

Li Ferreira Nhan said...

Amo as corujas.
BelĂ­ssimas fotos,

LuLo Designs/Blue Eyed Tango said...

Great photos of the owls perched in their natural habitat! I choose to stand on what God's word says about reaping and sowing. The whole world came into existence (was formed) by his word.....even all the creatures you photograph! It amazes me to see people that are in such awe of nature and believe there is no God who created it. You take beautiful photographs, who do you think allows you to do that? God gave you the gift to inspire others. Food for thought.

Arija said...

One good turn deserves another and you certainly got gigabites worth! Wonderful pictures.

Tammie Lee said...

Oh my these are wonderful images! Such beautiful creatures and they blend so nicely into their background,eh!

Tammie Lee said...

Oh my these are wonderful images! Such beautiful creatures and they blend so nicely into their background,eh!

2sweetnsaxy said...

These are wonderful shots. How exciting to find them and get such great captures!

Russ said...

Very nice series.

Bj said...

Great shots and wonderful story. You are one of God's helpers. :) The owl shots are priceless. Thanks for sharing.

Dawn Fine said...

O my...i have missed allot of your posts lately..so I am here reading them..scrolling down...and I just had to comment about these owls.
Gorgeous! How lucky you were to see these birds1
Enjoying all your photography!