Friday, February 4, 2011

The Visiting Owl

No matter where we live, my wife is almost immediately known in the neighborhood as the critter whisperer, or something like that.  There's no way of knowing how the word gets out, but people just start showing up at the door, often people I don't even know.  We've had cats, dogs, possums, squirrels, hens, roosters, an untold number of different birds---heavens, you name it.  So, tonight, there was the knock at the door.  When I opened the door, there was Crystal standing at the door clutching a jacket rolled into a knot.  She and her family were getting out for a ride.  They were suffering from blizzard imposed cabin fever, and just needed to get out of the house.  They were a couple miles outside of town when something forcibly hit the side of their pickup.  When they checked to see what had hit the truck, they saw this little owl lying in the road.  It didn't look dead, but was unable to move.
It was apparently just a freak collision.  Crystal scooped up the owl, and knew just who to turn to.  My wife identified it as a Northern Pygmy Owl.  She put it in a cage, and we all stood around and watched it for awhile for any signs of injury.  There was no blood, and once it started to move around, the legs and wings all seemed to be moving fine, so it must have just been stunned.  It started to become a little frantic, but calmed down as soon as we put a towel over the cage.  We asked Crystal where she had found the bird, and after keeping it for a night's observation, if it still looks fine tomorrow, we'll drive out to where the bird was picked up and try to release it close to its familiar nesting and hunting area.  But you just have to love those eyes.

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