Skip to content

PROWLS helps northern pygmy owl regain appetite

Northern pygmy owl

This tiny northern pygmy owl was hit by a car near the Gibson’s Beach turnoff north of Powell River.

Out cold and lying in the middle of the highway, it was noticed by another driver who brought it to the BC SPCA Powell River and District Branch.

Still unconscious, it was picked up by Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society. When she did revive, her breath rattled loudly and also squeaked, indicating internal damage.

The next day, standing with her left eye swollen shut and her breath continuing to rattle, this pygmy owl devoured a mouse. By the third day both eyes were open and her breathing was quiet.

During an exam at Westview Veterinary Hospital, with her sharp little beak, tiny razor claws and squirming body, she fiercely attacked PROWLS founder and president Merrilee Prior and Dr. Barnes. He found the badly swollen left wing was broken near the wrist so the owl was sent to Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society in Delta, where stayed throughout its recovery.

She returned on New Year’s Eve, ready to start 2019 in her natural territory.

The northern pygmy owl hunts during the day, preying on mice and songbirds at feeders, and can even kill a chicken three times larger than itself.