Early one morning, just after sunrise, PROWLS received a call about an injured owl on the ground near Willingdon Beach.
PROWLS president Merrilee Prior and volunteer Naomi collected their equipment and went out to get it. When they arrived, the great horned owl had flown a short distance into a tree and was sitting at the end of a branch, eyes closed and not moving.
Naomi climbed the tree and bent the branch down to where Merrilee could reach the owl with a net, and they had it! The owl was not impressed, but could not really fight, so he closed his eyes again and ignored everyone. An examination showed that he had a puncture under his beak and two more on the back of his head.
Back at PROWLS, he was offered some mice, but preferred to attack the hand that was feeding him. He was taken to the airport and Pacific Coastal Airlines transported him safely to Vancouver, where he was picked up and taken to Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL), the raptor rehabilitation specialists in Delta. The OWL report indicated that the owl had been caught by an eagle.
Great-horned owls are known for flying around at night and knocking eagles out of trees, sometimes causing serious injury. They are very grumpy!
This one recovered in a few weeks, but its return was delayed by snowy weather. Two months later, he returned and was released at Willingdon Beach, where he will shortly be choosing a nest site with his mate.