During a routine pole change out in Barnwell, South Carolina, Everette Livingston, Tommy Elkins, Britt Chrisco and Nick Owens, noticed a small nest in a woodpecker cavity in one SCE&G’s distributions poles they were about to replace. In the nest were three small white eggs with brown spots.
Upon discovering them, the crew retrieved the eggs, wrapped them in a towel and placed them in the truck cab to keep them warm. That night, Robert Bowers brought the eggs home with him and kept them warm with a water bottle.
Efforts were made to find an organization that could take the eggs. However, most of SCE&G’s calls were turned away – until a call was made to the Center for Birds of Prey in Awendaw, S.C. There, because of a longstanding relationship, Director Jim Elliott agreed to have the Eastern Screech Owl eggs transported to the center – more than 100 miles away.
The eggs spent a couple of weeks in the center’s incubator before hatching. They were raised by “foster” parents, a pair of screech owls that live permanently at the center. Baby owls learn their identity by seeing their parents deliver food (known as imprinting) so human contact must be limited. Fortunately, the foster parents took to the babies at once and raised them like their own.
Once the young owls were determined to be self-sufficient, they were released. “All of us are glad to see the outcome here,” said Lenny Birt, manager of the Barnwell crew.
SCE&G places a high value on environmental programs – particularly for programs that benefit the birds and animals that live on or near our infrastructure. It is because of this value that we have forged a strong relationship with The Center for Birds of Prey.
As Elliott once said, most birds’ lives are a series of miracles that get them to adulthood. In this instance, SCE&G is proud to have been part of that first miracle – giving these owls a chance to become part of our world.