Slippery, like an Owl - Now with pics!
Just thought I'd share this. The intention of today was to spend a peaceful morning with Ms. Plants in Bolton Abbey, walking the dog and savouring the delights of Caramel Apple Betty at the local tea rooms. That was all cut short when we found a Tawny Owl by the side of the road near the Strid. Clearly not good to be out during the day, we gathered it up in a blanket after some kerfuffle, and found it missing half a wing. However, the wound had healed pretty good and the owl itself seemed OK otherwise. We guessed it had survived until now on roadkill, but with a busy, twisty lane full of fast cars its choice of restaurant, its days were numbered.
Taking it to the nearest vets their first reaction was 'put it to sleep' but we argued the point about an otherwise healthy bird (who was by now far calmer, almost welcoming the strokes we were giving it and nearly going to sleep in the blanket) should be given a chance at a decent life. After all, who were we to pick it off the road where it was at least surviving and condemn it to death? Eventually they agreed and after a lot of waiting and cooing by fellow pet owners, we managed to get someone to take a look, who agreed after examination that it shouldn't be put down, but needed food and water and a home where they would be taken care of by a specialist. However the places he rang all said no as it would never fly again, so we took it back home with little hope other than a couple of numbers of different sanctuaries to try.
Things weren't looking so good. The owl just looked at the dog food and water we put out for it (I guess I'd do the same if I was suddenly plucked from the wild, poked and prodded then driven more miles and plonked on a kitchen floor) and the other numbers weren't coming up trumps either. The first didn't answer, the second said no. The third and final number couldn't take them as they had non-predatory birds in their aviaries, but pointed us at a place over near Keighley, a woman who kept wounded birds of prey in aviaries. She'd be back from shopping within the hour.
Once there we were greeted by a Terrier who seemed unable to stop snarling at us (though not because he wanted to, his lips seemed to be too small for him) and we made our way up the steps to find another dog, a cat, some fish, and a Snowy Owl perched quite happily on the fridge, who chirrupped intensely when we tickled his tum. The lady kindly helped us through and took the owl, and checking the wound said it was actually quite infected. She gave it antibiotics immediately as we were shown round the aviaries at the back of their cramped back garden, where we saw a tame Eagle Owl that hooted on command, a poor lame Barn Owl whose feet wouldn't do what it wanted, another healthy Tawny, as well as a Tawny Eagle which had full run of the garden as it couldn't fly, and gave the dogs as good as it got, despite its delicate age of over 40.
Satisfied we'd done our good deed for the day we said our good-byes and left Danni, who she shall now be called to be cared for. Hopefully I'll be able to go see her next week for an update on how she's doing.