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Posts Tagged ‘Wildlife Rehab Inc.’

Fall is a tough time of year for young owls.  Their parents have recently stopped feeding and caring for them, but they have not had sufficient time or experience to hone their survival skills.  So, mistakes happen – like crashing through windows.  Karen Keller, Town Clerk for the Town of Bethania, arrived at her office this morning and opened the door leading into the Alpha Chapel as usual.  Imagine Karen’s surprise when she saw shattered glass on the floor and a Barred Owl on the piano.

Barred Owl in the Alpha Chapel

Barred Owl in the Alpha Chapel

Karen called me and asked what to do.  I called Jean Chamberlain, our local owl and hawk rehabilitation expert with Wildlife Rehab, Inc.  Thirty minutes later, Jean, Karen, Mark Farnsworth (manager of the Bethania Visitor Center), and I walked into the chapel.  The owl was still on the piano, but it quickly flew around a little and then crashed into a corner and fell to the floor where Jean was able to pick it up.

Jean holds the Barred Owl

Jean holds the Barred Owl

Jean showed us the barring on the owl’s wing which indicated that it is a first year bird, probably about six months old.  Although there was no evidence of bleeding and we had just seen the owl fly, Jean carefully examined it for injuries.

Jean examines the Barred Owl for injuries

Jean examines the Barred Owl for injuries

Something in the tendon that runs along the top of the wing felt not quite right, so Jean decided to take the owl home with her for observation.  I was elated to receive a phone call a few hours later saying that the owl was flying just fine.  Jean also said that feeling its keel revealed a healthy amount of muscle, so the bird had been successfully feeding itself.  There was a little swelling in its wing, but she expected that it would heal naturally.  Jean planned to release the owl at 6:45 PM this evening.

We arrived in the Bethania Visitor Center parking lot at the agreed upon time and Jean took the owl out of its carrier.

Jean holds the Barred Owl before release

Jean holds the Barred Owl before release

We admired the owl again and then Jean swept her arm upwards and let go.  The owl quickly flew to the nearest tree, sat for a minute, and then flew out of our sight.  This beautiful young owl was now back home in the wonderful woods of Black Walnut Bottoms.

Female Barred Owls are larger than males.  This bird was intermediate in weight, so we do not know its gender.

The photo below shows the view from outside the chapel.  Note the lower right window pane where the owl crashed through.

The Barred Owl crashed through this window into the chapel

The Barred Owl crashed through this window into the chapel

In addition to facilitating owl rescues, Forsyth Audubon works with the Town of Bethania to replace non-native invasive plants with native species.  Our other activities include bird and butterfly walks in Walnut Bottoms.  See the Bethania page on our website for more information.

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