After a disastrous encounter with an open well, one little owl’s luck turned when she was rescued by a wildlife rehabilitator.
As the National Audubon Society explains, owls aren’t strong swimmers. They only get in the water by accident or when forced. However, once they’re in the water, they can’t get out again without a sloped shore to climb up — so man-made water containers with steep sides are a unique hazard for these birds, as the Barn Owl Trust revealed.
@palomapalace Open water troughs are always a problem for birds that get stuck in them. This is the first time we found one in a well like this but were use to finding them in cattle/horse troughs and pools. Float a board wired to the side to help animals get out of any slick sided water source. After she dries shell get a full exam. #barnowl #alfalfa #pestcontrol #wildliferescue #moreowlslesspoison ♬ original sound – PalomaPalace
TikToker PalomaPalace (@PalomaPalace), the wildlife rescuer who saved this owl, agrees.
“Open water troughs are always a problem for birds that get stuck in them,” she said in the video description. “This is the first time we found one in a well like this but we’re used to finding them in cattle/horse troughs and pools.”
In the video, the small barn owl can be seen floating in a concrete well or cistern of some kind sunk into the ground. She doesn’t float on top of the water like a duck; instead, her waterlogged wings trail behind her in the water.
The TikToker has to climb down into the muddy waterway leading into the well to save the bird. Drawing on her long experience with raptors, she gathers up the owl’s legs and wings in a specialized hold so that neither she nor the bird will be hurt.
Fortunately, the owl seems to be okay. “Maybe you just got wet and you don’t need to go to the doctor,” says PalomaPalace, before identifying the owl as a female. “Who knows how long she’s been down there?”
Sadly, not all birds that end up in water are so fortunate. Many drown or fall victim to predators before they can get back in the air. It’s also difficult for most people to help without either harming these small and delicate creatures or being injured by sharp beaks and talons.
There is a simple way to prevent this tragic problem, though. “Float a board wired to the side to help animals get out of any slick-sided water source,” said PalomaPalace.
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