Wildlife artist Robert E Fuller is known for bringing us the beautiful love story that was Apollo and Athena – two kestrels who met during their first year of mating.
But now, Fuller is giving us another lovely insight into the natural world with his take on a female tawny owl named Luna.
She is a rescued owl who has adopted a pair of orphans after her own eggs didn’t hatch. Fuller found the pair of orphaned owls and placed them with Luna, hopeful that she’d take to them. And she did!
Luna took the baby owls quite nicely. In fact, Fuller was happy to share, “This means that after a long wait, Luna the tawny owl is finally a mum. Not only did her eggs fail to hatch this year, but she also lost her clutch last year. …And the event also brings the story round full circle since Luna is herself a rescued tawny owl, raised herself by owls here at Fotherdale who fostered her in 2017.”
But Luna wasn’t the only one who was willing to welcome in the orphans. Luna’s partner, Bomber, was also quite accommodating to the young fledglings.
When he met them, he seemed thrilled to be a dad. However, the reunion didn’t last long as Luna was quite adamant that Bomber’s job was to go out and collect food for the new members of their little family.
Fuller added, “The first time Bomber the tawny owl discovers the two rescued chicks I placed in the nest he seems very excited. But Luna seems a little protective and doesn’t let him too close just yet. She lets him have a quick look then guides him out of their nest with a firm claw on his leg as if to say, now go and get them some food.”
Fuller explained how he had come to rescue the baby owls. As it turned out, he had received a call about them and went to see them for himself when he was informed that they needed a home.
He said, “They had fallen from a stack of straw which was about to be moved. I’ve taken them into my care & so far they are feeding well – just listen to that chittering demand for more food. I hope to get them back into the wild asap.”
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.