Basket, buckets and a protective mother: Great Horned Owl babies rescued in Winnipeg

A great wind knocked some baby Great Horned Owls from their nest, but with the help of a basket and some buckets they are headed home on Saturday.

Some photographers had been watching the owl nest in Winnipeg when a gust of wind knocked the nest to the ground, taking two babies with it and leaving a third stranded in the tree.

Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation was called in to make sure there were no serious injuries and to come up with a plan to get the babies, who are about six weeks old, back to their mother.

But the journey is a bit complicated and can be perilous, said Lisa Tretiak, president and co-founder of Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation.

"They pose a bit more of a serious problem," Tretiak said.

"The mother can be quite aggressive. So we have to be careful in trying to reunite these babies back with the mother so that nobody is injured in the process."

First, the birds will need a new nest before being placed back in the tree.

"We are actually going to be using a basket and we are going to be intertwining sticks with it to recreate sort of a, looking like a natural nest," she said.

The nest will be placed back into the tree as high as they can possibly get before it is secured to the trunk.

Then the owls, which are about the size of a soccer ball, will be placed in buckets which will be pulled up into the nest.

Tretiak said she's pretty confident the mother owl will welcome her full nest back in the tree, if anything she will encourage the rescuers out of the scene as fast as possible to get her family time.

"She was very protective yesterday," Tretiak said.

"They usually don't give up that easily on their babies."