At Liberty Wildlife, Snickers, a resident bird, exhibits remarkable maternal instincts every baby season.
Despite her eggs being infertile due to the absence of a mate, Snickers meticulously tends to them, leaving no detail unattended.
Owls, like Snickers, exhibit a fascinating behavior of sitting on infertile eggs, even though they won’t hatch into babies.
This instinctual behavior can be attributed to several factors.
Firstly, the act of incubation helps maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level for the eggs, ensuring their preservation. By sitting on the eggs, the owl provides warmth and protection from potential dangers.
Additionally, sitting on the eggs satisfies the owl’s innate nurturing instinct. It is a deeply ingrained behavior that compels them to care for their offspring, even if the eggs are infertile.
This instinctual drive to incubate and care for eggs is a vital part of their reproductive behavior, and the absence of a mate or fertile eggs does not diminish this innate urge.
Tending to the infertile eggs allows the owl to practice and refine its parenting skills.
It allows the owl to learn and familiarize itself with the responsibilities of raising young, preparing it for future reproductive cycles when viable eggs may be present.
However, fate had a different plan when two orphaned owl chicks arrived needing a nurturing mother. The rescuers recognized Snickers’ innate caregiving abilities and decided she would be the perfect match for the little ones.
While Snickers momentarily left her nest, the caretakers discreetly swapped her infertile eggs with the two tiny owlets.
Once Snickers returned, a heartwarming connection was instantly forged.
She engaged in gentle communication with the babies, seemingly reassuring them of their newfound safety and her unwavering commitment. And then, Snickers performed an act of pure tenderness.
With grace and devotion, Snickers nestled into the nest, extending her protective wings over her newfound children.
It was a gesture that conveyed love, trust, and an unspoken declaration: “These are my babies. I will care for them from this moment onward.”
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Unsurprisingly, the baby owls thrived beyond expectations under Snickers’ devoted care.
Such was her success that she was entrusted with a third owlet, a testament to her exceptional mothering skills.
Snickers diligently imparts her wisdom, teaching the young owls the ways of their species, preparing them for the day when they can spread their wings and flourish in the wild, living extraordinary lives of their own.