HARRISON, Ark. (AP) - A Home Depot in northern Arkansas has
someone new looking out for mice in the garden center. Someone with
A great horned owl flew inside of the Harrison store's garden
center during a January ice storm and built a nest atop a pallet of
merchandise. Over time, two baby owls poked their heads out. One
fell to its death, but the other survived.
Now, the mother is gone but the surviving youngster has decided
to stay, looking down on surprised customers shopping for flowers
and paving stones. Since the garden center is open to the sky, the
owl leaves, but always comes back, employees said.
"He's kind of our pet now," supervisor John Gallagher told the
Harrison Daily Times.
Randy Zellers, managing editor Arkansas Wildlife magazine, said
owls are raptors, which are protected under strict federal
regulations, and the store would have to get special licenses to
remove its new tenant.
But Zellers said there's really no reason for anyone to try that
"If he isn't bothering anything, it's perfectly fine," Zellers
Rusty Scarborough, education program coordinator at Delta Rivers
Nature Center in Pine Bluff, said the store would be a good spot
for a great horned owl. Garden centers stock bird seed and crop
seeds - big draws for rodents, the owl's main food.
Although the great horned owl is a fierce predator, Scarborough
said this owl probably doesn't pose a threat to people at the
"They still have a fear of humans," he said.
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