Saturday, May 14, 2016

Just when you think.....

you've seen it all as far as rescue, along comes a new one. I got a call about a great horned owl up in a tree with a broken wing. It was sticking straight up! And it was in Worland, more than an hours drive from here. I was told the owl was also over the water of a small pond. Well that made for an interesting rescue.

Jim Hill had a small flat bottomed skiff so we got in and headed out for the bird. As it was in an olive tree I thought maybe he'd caught his wing on one of the long thorns. I had my long handled net and was able to get it around him but my pulling didn't free the bird. What it did was lower him a bit so I could see his wing was caught in some fishing line.

What's the first thing they say about being in a small boat? Don't stand up!. Of course I stood up. Luckily Jim is an excellent navigator and kept the boat right under the owl. I was able to grab his legs and pull him down low enough to get my hand on the line. I gave a pull and it slipped off the end of his wing.

How this could have happened is anyone's guess. He was dangling up there like a Christmas tree ornament twisting in the wind. There was no damage to his wing tip or feathers so after we got back to shore and I managed to get myself out of the boat, we took a couple photos and I released him. He flew off the opposite direction of the pond.

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