Touching Story: Mother owl adopts two orphaned owlets with heartwarming compassion after her own eggs fail to hatch

A mother owl, whose own eggs failed to hatch, has delighted her rescuer by instantly adopting a pair of orphaned, wild owlets who fell from their nest.

Wildlife artist and filmmaker Robert E. Fuller, from North Yorkshire, England, has been the caretaker of tawny owl pair Luna and Bomber for several years.

“Bomber has lived in my garden since 2011, and Luna is actually a rescued tawny owl, raised by wild owls here after I placed her into their nest in 2017,” Fuller said. “Sadly, this owl couple have been unlucky in raising chicks of their own.”

Fuller said that Luna’s eggs failed to hatch last year, and the same happened this year. Luna laid three eggs in the middle of March, which were due to hatch in mid-April, but they did not.

Fuller has paired orphaned, wild owlets with Luna and Bomber before and has been successful, so when he heard of two chicks that had fallen from a haystack, and the haystack had been moved, he decided to see if Luna would adopt them.

Rescued Female Tawny Owl Readily Adopts Two Orphaned Chicks After Her Eggs  Failed to Hatch

“When Luna returned to the nest and found the foster owlets there, she rushed straight up to them and instantly put her wings over them, trying to brood,” Fuller said. “It was as though she had been expecting them! It was incredible to watch.”

Mom Owl Elated To Find Baby Owlets In Her Nest After Her Eggs Never Hatched

Relieved, Fuller kept hidden cameras recording inside the owls’ tree hollow to monitor Luna and her adopted babies. Incredible, intimate footage of the chicks’ first interaction with Luna, of their meeting Bomber, and of their development went viral on his YouTube channel.

The owl couple meet their foster chicks for the first time:

Watch Luna taking care of her foster chicks:

(Courtesy of Robert E Fuller via Youtube)

“There’s always a small chance these things can go wrong. … Nevertheless, when it turns out well, it’s amazing,” Fuller said. “It seems to have really struck a chord, and the videos have been watched millions of times.”

Tawny Owl Chicks Find Their Wings | Foster Owl Luna's Story | Luna & Bomber  | Robert E Fuller - YouTube

The owlets were named Dawn and Dusk by netizens who were following the story, after a viewers’ poll on Fuller’s channel. The siblings have now fledged the nest and are both doing well in the wild.

Luna and Bomber are something of a power couple, despite recent disappointments in hatching their own eggs; they have raised chicks in the past, including another orphaned pair, Eric and Ernie, who Luna welcomed into her brood of four while Bomber hunted for food.

On his website, Fuller describes dutiful father Bomber as “a tender parent,” “fiercely territorial,” and showing no sign of slowing down despite his advanced age.

The wildlife expert, who has rescued and rehabilitated many different species of English wildlife, lives on a farm in the hamlet of Great Givendale, just 3 miles from where he grew up. He’s been close to animals since childhood.

“The farm was designed to be in harmony with nature, so I spent my early days surrounded by wild creatures,” he told The Epoch Times.

Since Dawn and Dusk flew the nest, Fuller has taken on two more rescued tawny owlets. He has the perfect adoptive mother in mind.

“There’s a chance that Luna may take on these two as well,” he said. “If not, I will feed them myself since they are almost ready to go. It is always better if they are raised by a wild owl than a human, so it’s worth a try!”

Luna the owl has wanted to be a mom for a long time, but the affectionate bird hasn’t had the best of luck. Over the last two years, she’s tried—with little success—to start a family of her own. “Not only did her eggs fail to hatch this year, but she also lost her clutch last year,” says British wildlife artist and rehabilitator Robert E. Fuller, explaining Luna’s difficult journey to motherhood.

The rescued tawny owl was raised at the Fotherdale Farm by other owls who fostered her back in 2017. At the farm, Fuller regularly places orphaned or lost owlets into tawny owl nests so that the mature adults can care for the vulnerable young, as the owl’s natural urge to nurture and protect is quite strong. Now, it seems to be Luna’s time to return the favor. Recently, Fuller learned of two orphaned owlets needing care, and he instantly thought Luna would be the perfect candidate to rehabilitate and care for the tiny creatures.

Hidden camera captures heart-melting footage of a rescued owl adopting two  orphaned chicks

“This means that after a long wait, Luna the tawny owl is finally a mum,” Fuller shares.

After Fuller placed the two rescued chicks in her nest, a hidden nest camera captured Luna’s first interaction with her new young. There was some worry that the bird might not accept the new owlets; but according to the footage, all such worries were unwarranted. The heartwarming clip shows the motherly owl instantly taking to the two chicks and quickly enfolding them about with her wings. Luna was clearly ecstatic to have two baby owls to care for.

After a few weeks together, the three of them are thriving. And it seems that the new mother owl is loving every second with her babies. “Tawny owl mum, Luna, is so tender with her foster chicks,” Fuller shared in a recent update, where the mother bird can be seen snuggling and grooming her two owlets with her wings wrapped firmly around them.

At last, it seems Luna got her happy ending; and she and her new owlets couldn’t be happier. To keep up with their progress, you can watch a live stream of the owl foster family on Fuller’s YouTube channel.

Sia

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