Thursday, August 6, 2015

It worked ! ! ! ! !

Every time I think I've seen it all, something new comes along. I've rescued birds in chimneys before but the call from John and Lela Lawler took the cake. John said it was a great horned owl and he couldn't reach it at all. He tried from the stove end and from the top, no such luck. When I got there he had the extension ladder in place so we climbed up, walked across a few different roofs and looked down the chimney.

Just for the heck of it I had cut a piece of netting off a roll, about 1'x 12' and took it along. I'd used a soft net to retrieve a flicker out of a square post and thought this might work. John had a couple very long poles to push the net to the owl. What happened next should have been caught on video. I used the pole and got the netting down to the bird and then just kept moving it up and down. The owl was mad and did what I hoped he'd do, he grabbed on to the netting.

Then things moved very fast. I told John that the bird was coming up. By the time I said "he's coming up" the second time the owl was at the top and spitting mad. I grabbed him by the shoulder, John got his gloves on and grabbed the other wing to give me a chance to get ahold of the owls legs.

As you can see, SOOTY is very black with those huge yellow eyes showing just how upset he was. John and I were both wearing black soot but by the time we walked back to the ladder and got off the roof we were realizing just how lucky everyone was. Not only was the bird not hurt, he was in excellent condition. I believe it's a baby of this year so only about five months old. After we congratulated each other for a job well done I released the bird. He flew off and landed in one of the trees in the yard.

I got a call this afternoon from John saying that a GHO had landed on his neighbors chimney, hopefully it wasn't the same bird and this one will not fall in. If so we know how to rescue the darn thing.


  1. Great job and a great story as well. That owl is huge. What a beauty.

  2. LOL! I think this may be the funniest rescue story you have posted! So glad there was not damage to the owl, or you and John. Loved it! :-)