After a rest, barred owl ready to return to the wild

After a rest, barred owl ready to return to the wild

The Westerly Sun


WESTERLY — After an unfortunate encounter with some monofilament fishing line, a barred owl will be released Wednesday at the same spot where it was found and rescued.

The owl, a young female, has been at the Born to Be Wild Nature Center in Bradford for about a week. Her circuitous journey began in Warwick on Oct. 11 when her wing became entangled in monofilament fishing line and she hung helpless overnight.

Warwick Animal Control Officer Amy Violet was unable to rescue the owl, so she called the Warwick Fire Department. Firefighters arrived with a ladder truck and were able to climb up the ladder and extricate the bird from the fishing line. The owl was then taken to the Wildlife Rehabilitators of Rhode Island’s facility in North Kingstown. The owl’s wing was undamaged but she needed a few days rest, so on Oct. 14, she arrived at the Born to Be Wild raptor rehabilitation center in Bradford.

Licensed rehabilitators John and Vivian Maxson run the nonprofit center and cared for the owl.

“It came to us for conditioning and final evaluation,” John Maxson said.

Despite the owl’s ordeal, she had suffered very little physical damage. Housed in a large flight cage, she appeared to be alert and restless, chafing at her confinement and ready to go — all good signs, Maxson said.

“We did a full evaluation, and nothing,” he said. “We could hardly find any feather damage.”

Barred owls are common in Rhode Island. They are vocal raptors, and are often heard rather then seen.

“They like to stay around swampy, vernal pools, that sort of thing,” Maxson said. “They’re fond of snakes, frogs, water rats, mice — that’s their primary diet.”

This owl has been fed four to five mice every evening at dusk. The mice are purchased frozen from a supplier in Indiana.

Maxson said the owl would be released where she had been found, and added that he would contact her rescuers to invite them to watch the release.

“We’ll be contacting the ACO Amy Violet to be there and the Warwick Fire Department to be there,” he said. “Those are the rescuers. It’s very important to us that we involve the rescuers.”

More information on Born to Be Wild can be found at: http://hawkri.org/

cdrummond@thewesterlysun.com

@cynthiadrummon4


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