Monday, January 14, 2008

Barred Owl

I havent done many blogs on new Wildlife ventures because it has been slow lately with Wildlife rehab.. The domestic animal activity is normal for this time of year but spring is always when it gets busy. I was working with Colin and a few of the barn kids in the lower pasture on Sunday morning. We are really trying to get a pasture clearing mess cleaned up in between snow storms. I heard my wife yelling for me up at the house. I walked up (thinking that this had better be important)and when I got within sight of the house she was still standing in the pasture looking for me (I really should carry a cell phone). She said that a lady in Fulton Co. just called, her husband hit an owl the night before (sat 1/12/08). Unlike many people that would have kept going and assumed the worst.....this guy didnt. He went back, saw it was injured and picked it up and brought it home.

Cars and Wildlife usually dont end in a happy ending. Many of the animals that are hit die of stress. Many have injuries servere enough that they require euthanization. When the woman called I started asking questions, asked her to tell me every little detail. She expected to find the owl dead the next morning but it wasnt. She found me online, offerred to meet me halfway and did. She went above and beyond her random act of kindness for the owl and I hope that it makes it.

When my daughter Hannah found out that I was going on a rescue she sprung into action getting me a crate, my equipment and getting dressed appropriately while I went down to tell the crew that they got to do firewood alone. Off we went, Laura was at the meeting spot and I took a look at the wounded soilder. He was stressed, in shock but looked pretty good otherwise. I told them I thought it was a Barred Owl but wasnt positive. With the exchange of paperwork, off we went in our separate directions but I appreciate Laura giving me a call. I imediately took the owl to my friend who is a licensed expert in things with talons, beaks and feathers (lots of other wild critters also). She confirmed that it was indeed a Barred Owl and did a very complete physical exam. She said that he was in good shape and nothing appeared to be too messed up but she wanted to take him to the vet to get an xray and make sure. I am pretty confident that this bird will hopefully be releasable in the future and I would like to take it back to the exact location where it was hit when it is time for that. It is often a good idea to release where the bird is already in familiar territory (with a lonely mate possibly).

I will keep you updated. I am hoping that maybe I can do part of my apprenticeship with this bird. I took my typical 2 photos while doing my exam of the bird, I will try to get a photo on this blog tomorrow night so that you can see what this great owl looks like and I will definately keep you posted on his progress. Wes

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