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PROWLS revisits barred owl incidents

Barred owl

VEHICLE VICTIMS: As the weather cools in the fall, barred owls move from the backcountry and settle closer to shore, where it is warmer and prey is easier to find. Unfamiliar with cities, they are often the victims of window and vehicle strikes.

By the end of 2021, at least a dozen barred owls had received first aid at Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society (PROWLS) before being sent on to Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL) in Delta, the raptor specialists. Sad to say, they don’t all make it.

So when PROWLS receives word one is returning on Pacific Coastal Airlines for local release, it is a call to rejoice.

Most recently it was one that had crashed into a motorcycle at midnight. What a shock for both the cyclist and the owl! PROWLS was called.

Another was rescued by a different motorcyclist who witnessed the owl being struck by a car at night. The motorcyclist brought it home and called PROWLS right away.

Another flew into the side of a car and was taken into Westview Veterinary Clinic. After an examination, Dr Barnes called PROWLS saying: “It was fine but needed care.” And so it goes.

Their incredibly soft feathers, which allow them to fly so silently in the dark, are no protection for the dangers of city living.

Barred owls don’t migrate, and they don’t even move around very much. Of 158 birds that were banded and then found later, none had moved further than six miles away.