What brought on that observation? Well, I released the barred owl Monday and by Thursday had a screech owl…
The barred owl was—pardon the pun—a hoot to release. First, he slammed the box around the back of the car, so I figured I’d have another release where I didn’t manage video and would have to chase him through the woods for photos.
Take the box out of the car, set it on the ground, open it, and…Doofus flings himself onto his back and grabs the side of the box with one foot.
I wait for him to realize the box is open and the sky is above him.
Nope, too busy glaring at me…
*sigh* Put the camera away, glove up, and take Doofus out of the box. Remove one glove to man the camera, open the gloved hand holding his feet and…
Nothing. He sits on the glove, staring around.
Really, Doofus? You’re FREE! Go be an owl now!
So I start moving my hand up and down slowly. He tightens his grip for balance and glares at me. Then I take one step forward, and…
Ground control, we have liftoff!
He soars straight for the treeline—sorry about the blurry bit at the end of the video below. I was trying to zoom in as he landed and both the camera and I lost him.
Then Thursday morning, a caller said her son had found a grounded “baby” owl near dark as he was leaving his deer stand. She thought his wing might be broken. This time of year, a “baby” will almost surely be an adult screech owl. Sure enough, when I met the caller, she had an adult gray-phase screech—and he was NOT in good shape. I actually thought he was already dead, as he was huddled against the side of the large bird cage she’d put him in the previous night, one wing sprawled out, head back at an impossible angle.
But no, the little guy was alive—barely, it appeared. I grabbed a small box, eased him into it, and headed for Smalley’s Animal Hospital on the double, not even taking time for a rudimentary preliminary exam. (I’d called earlier to tell them I might be bringing an owl in.) When I got there and asked for fluids to get him started right away, receptionist Jesse Savage immediately brought me an entire small bag of fluids and some syringes. I love the entire staff at Smalley’s; they’re all amazing!
The fluids did help some, but he still seemed to have something neurological going on: he kept his head drawn tightly to one side on his shoulder and his left foot balled up. And he refused to open his eyes.
Remember that the 2015 LWR calendars are available through Lulu.com (link below) for $16.50 + shipping. US, UK and Canadian holidays are featured, and $5 of each purchase goes toward funding next year’s rehab efforts. Sales are very sluggish right now and quite frankly, if they don’t pick up, this will be the last year I do a calendar. There’s an awful lot of effort involved in putting together the calendars, and selling just five or six of them is just not enough return on that effort—nor does it bring in sufficient funds to make it worthwhile.