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Barred owl enjoys food supply while recovering from injury

Barred owl

Possibly the most frequent flyer for Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society (PROWLS), this barred owl was picked up by a driver in Gillies Bay on Texada Island, wrapped in a sweater and transported by ferry over to the PROWLS shelter in a kennel.

The prognosis for recovery was not great as it had a wing broken at the point where all the flight feathers grow from.

After successful surgery and a six-week residence at Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society in Delta, this male bird was still not flying.

A last-ditch strategy was to factor in that it was breeding season and to see what would happen if two female barred owls were placed into the large flight cage with the Texada male for company. That worked. Very quickly he was flying and chasing prey.

Alone in a cage back on Texada two months later, he quickly reverted to his previous behaviour and needed to be pulled out of his cage.

The owl had rediscovered on his flight and ferry trips back from the mainland that if he did nothing, someone would eventually supply him with food.

Fortunately, there is an abundance of food on Texada, enough for a lazy barred owl, so he should be able survive in the wild once again.