Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nightmare on I-95

What goes bump in the night and could not give a hoot in the morning?  A Barred Owl (Strix varia) wedged between sailboards and a truck's roof traveling at highway speeds from Jacksonville, FL to Summerville, SC!  Talk about wind chill!

Last Thursday, Mike Dawson, director of the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest, got the call when crows were observed attacking the weakened owl.  Here is his account of the experience:  Got to rescue an injured Barred Owl today. Apparently last night he was hit by an SUV carrying surfboards attached to the luggage rack. Unbeknownst to the driver, the “thump” he heard was a Barred Owl being jammed up between the roof and the boards. This happened around Jacksonville, FL last night. The owl rode there for 250 miles in the wind and cold to the Hampton Inn in Summerville. This morning, the owner found the owl perched and understandably dazed on the roof of his Suburban. I bought a fishing dip net at Wal-Mart and scrounged a cardboard box and was able to easily transfer him to the box, as he was pretty woozy. I called Janet Kinser with Keepers of the Wild and she picked him up to transfer to the Center For Birds of Prey. By the time she got here, he was doing much better, more open-eyed and moving more. Nothing appeared to be broken or messed up. So, odds are it will be just fine. One lucky owl... choosing an interesting way to migrate!

Image by Mark Musselman
Image by Barbara Thomas

Image by Barbara Thomas
Image by Mike Dawson

1 comment:

Mike said...

Amazing! Great pictures!