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Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society says barred owls in town

PROWLS: Rescue of the week

OWL ALERT: Barred owls are coming back down from the woods at this time of year; they’re hungry and keen to find rats.

Near Augusta Recyclers early one morning, a semi-truck on the way to the ferry had to swing way out to avoid hitting one standing close by the edge of the highway. Nonetheless, the driver was concerned and called Merrilee Prior, president of Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society (PROWLS), to alert her.

She went out with a kennel and walked both sides of the highway but couldn’t find it. Had it flown away? Two days later she received a call in the evening about a barred owl standing on the yellow line, also near Augusta.

This driver got out, threw his jacket over it and called Merrilee. Once back at PROWLS, it was determined that the owl had a concussion, exhibiting stargazing behaviour with its head tilted far back. Given anti-inflammatories, it was kept quiet in the dark and left alone in order to rest. The next morning it was standing with its head straighter.

Offered five mice, it quickly gobbled them up, which was a good sign. Given the nature of concussions to continue causing serious problems, even death, this barred owl was sent to Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL) in Delta, the raptor specialists. After a few days, he was bright and alert, behaving and reacting as he should.

We are hoping for a speedy recovery even, although he may well be there for several weeks. We look forward to his return.

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