20 Aug 2014
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Tree Comes Down, Owls Nest Elsewhere

Who hears owls calling in their neighborhood?

Tree Comes Down, Owls Nest Elsewhere
In the scheme of things, it may not be a big deal to anyone but Wanda White. It's just an indication of change.

A new family moves into an historic neighborhood, they fix up the historic house and then turn to the yard. An arborist service trims trees and cuts trees and cuts down one particular tree that neighbor White had been watching for years.

Well, she hadn't been watching the tree. There wasn't much to watch. The 10 feet or so of hollow trunk, without branches, was left in place by the house's previous owners. It was said to be wildlife habitat. White had, for years, been watching, and listening to, the owls that lived in the tree.

When she bought her house on Chase seven years ago, she was told she should watch over any animals she might have, like a pet cat or a ferret, in her back yard because there were owls in the neighborhood. And owls like to eat small mammals. 

Sometimes when White took a morning walk, she would head down Billups and hear the owls making their settling-down noises in the tree. They had been up all night, hunting this and that, and were sleeping. 

This past Saturday, she says she saw a tree service working in the yard. She talked with the workers and learned the new property owner felt he would be liable if the tree were to fall. So the tree came down.

"It happened so fast," said White. "I talked with them and then went around the corner to put my car away. When I came back, it was down. Such a shame."

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