It's raptor breeding season, watch for falling fledglings

It's raptor breeding season, watch for falling fledglings »Play Video
The Cascades Raptor Center took in its first fledgling raptor of the 2014 breeding season, a recently-hatched Great Horned Owl.

EUGENE, Ore. -- The change of the seasons marks the start breeding and hatching season for the Pacific Northwest’s predatory birds.

The Cascade Raptor Center brought in their first fledgling raptor of the spring 2014, a recently-hatched Great Horned Owl.

"He fell out of the nest and onto the ground,” the center’s executive director Louise Shimmel said. “The homeowners were concerned because they have a dog."

Experts like Shimmel are asking people to look out for the wildlife in their backyard, especially during the breeding season.

“In a town like this, in the area of Lane County, we have a lot of tree cover. People forget they're out there,” Shimmel said.

Shimmel said Great Horned Owls are usually the first raptors to hatch each year.

“They nest in somebody else's nest. They don't repair it. We get a lot of babies who just fall out,” said Shimmel.

She said homeowners can do a lot to help these birds by keeping cats or dogs indoors when they aren’t supervised, and waiting to landscape the yard.

“This is not the time of the year to trim bushes or hedges. There could be nests deep inside that would be exposed to predators,” said Shimmel.