Bird Watching

Drama in real Life

-A real story by Dr.Surya Prakash

I was living very peacefully & comfortably in the topmost ventilator of a factory in Rohini New Delhi, India with my family.Me and my husband had raised so many young ones in this factory without any troubles and they all are living independently I can’t say where and how?


From The Ventilator

Well! We basically prefer to stay inside or outside of human habitations that includes abandoned buildings  dead trees ,artificial nest boxes and also love to stay  at human worship places sometimes and hence are also known as ‘Church Owl’.


At some places we are considered as a symbol of ‘LOVE’ because of our heart shape face which is true But at the same time we are called as ‘Ghosts’ as well, and are considered as bad omen but we know we are the harmless avian friends of human society and help them in all possible way by controlling the harmful pest for free (One study by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection reports a barn owl family will eat more than 1,000 rats and mice in one nesting season.)

Heart Shaped Face – A Symbol of Love

I can’t forget that chilly and misty horrifying night of December 2009. When the owner of the factory where we were living,was talking to all his workers and we all were watching them from our home (ventilator)from the top. My husband had gone to fetch food for our six young ones.

I was shocked to hear when the factory owner warned his workers. ‘My business is going in loss I have consulted one priest(tantric) who had inspected my factory and has explained me the cause of loss in business. It is just because of these “Ghost Owls” .

I recalled in 2007 when one of our relative at Pune from our own community(Barn Owl ) was brutally killed and young ones were tortured their 4 chicks were caught and  their legs were tied mercilessly with strings and were thrown out of the factory to die.

Rescued Barn Owls at Pune

While I was dreaming all about future and past I just forgot the present and suddenly I heard a sound of a gun fire and next moment I was on the floor in a pool of blood taking my last breath and helplessly watching my six chicks who were crying for the help. Within a moment my soul left my physical body and flew to join my family I was able to see them but, they were not , as I was heavenly abode.

The next thing which that factory owner did was still horrifying   he caught my 6 chicks and tied their legs and threw them out in a jungle near a drain to die or become pray of any beast.   In the mean time my husband , (father of the chicks)returned home with a big rat and started looking for all of us. He placed that rat on the nest and started calling me and chicks. I could see the pain in his eyes and worry for not locating us. Our young ones were shivering in the cold and were helplessly  crying .It takes nearly 2 months for chicks  to mature  and even after that they stay with us for two months to get the training of hunting and protecting themselves .

The silence and darkness of the night was very scary for young ones I was waiting and watching the live telecast of death of all my little ones like the blind and helpless Dhritrastra (Father of Karavas) who heard the story of killing of all his 100 sons in  Mahabharata from Sanjay.

As all the employees of that factory owner were tight lipped under the pressure of their master and I was sure that none of them  will save my chicks as they all had fear of losing  their job.

But all humans are not INHUMAN some have a beating heart for others too. One of the workers secretly made a phone call next day in early morning to my friend Avijit and explained him about the ‘dramai n real life’ without disclosing his identity. It was enough . My soul disappeared from the cruel world after seeing one helping hand (Mother owl slept forever) . I received a phone call soon after from my friend who had already picked up those helpless chicks in a very bad condition .

I explained to my friend to  give them warmth immediately as they were under  frost  injuries  and keep them in a big wooden box by the time I  reach there. After reaching there my friend told me that he had fed them minced meat also as directed by me through intubation.


After Recovery from Frost Injuries

Next day owlets were on their own feet and we were happy to save them. Believe me these chicks were continuously calling/crying (hissing) throughout the night and day .

May be waiting for parents to return or for something else or may be because of shock they had undergone or because of pain. We were unable to diagnose the cause. But this was sure that all is not well. We fed them regularly for a week and they ate well.

As the house of my friend was far off from my house so it was difficult for me to visit him every day but I was in touch with him over phone. I was shocked when I called my friend one day and came to know that the smallest chick has passed away and same night another chick also died.

We separated them according to size to prevent in-fight. It worked fine and their health improved .But within next 48hours all of them died.

It was a real shock for all of us and we all are feeling very sad but we realize that not always humans can be foster parents but we have the satisfaction that we tried our best to save them . They  lived with us for 10 days leaving behind some good memories and a message that Owls must not be ill-treated by civilized human society. May be their heavenly abode mother wanted them to come to her… for peace… God only Knows… I remember a sher of famous poet

“Log toot jate hein ek ghar bananen mein,

Woh thakte nahin ,Bastiyan jalaneinmein”


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