MURRYSVILLE (KDKA) — The sweet sight of a mother and her babies was tragically interrupted in Murrysville on Tuesday, when a red-tailed hawk ripped the mother owl from inside her box.

PixController had set up cameras in the area, including one trained on two mating Eastern screech owls. The mother had just hatched two owlets.

Around 25 seconds into the video, an outside view shows the hawk targeting the front of the box, and at about 50 seconds, she can be seen being yanked out of the box to her death.

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The owlets were taken out of the box and transported to the Humane Animal Rescue Wildlife Center in Allegheny County, where the staff will care for them until they can be released.

“Time was of the essence, to get them out and save them, because it was so cold they would not have survive another hour,” PixController President and CEO Bill Powers said.

The male Eastern screech owl tried to deliver food that night, but his owl family was nowhere to be found.

Powers tells KDKA the owl boxes were set up in 2011 and the most current owls used them since 2013.

“My daughter named the female Allie and the male Dakota. She and her classmates named the two owlets Sporkey & Spike,” he said.

Powers admits the video of the hawk snatching the mother owl from the box is not fun to watch.

“Nature is not pretty, we broadcast an awful lot of wildlife cams and maybe 60 percent of them have some sort of dramatic event that happens,” he said. “Never expected this to happen.”


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