Northern Grey Owls Found In City
Article Date: 2004-12-18 Source: http://wcco.com
St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A. - You may have seen one yourself. Southern Minnesota is being invaded by a
large number of great grey owls from the north.
Many of the owls have headed south to find more food because their food supplies are running low. According to the University of Minnesota Raptor Center, this is common, occurring when the rodent populations they feed off of run low.
The Raptor Center has admitted many of the owls lately because they aren't used
to city life and have been getting hurt.
"They hunt open areas for small prey, primarily voles," explained Julia Ponder,
of the center. "The prey population is very cyclic, right now the vole
population is very low up there, & so these guys are moving south in order to
Ponder said that oftentimes, they have traumatic interactions with humans
because they hunt very low to the ground and can easily be hit by cars.
The bird she showed us had some eye damage and some internal problems when they
got him because a car hit him.
Grey owls have relatively small feet, but very sharp talons. They primarily eat
"They are a very, very quiet bird in general," Ponder said.
Ponder said the feathered edge of the owl’s feather gives them a silent flight
because it breaks the air.
"We allow people to adopt these birds, & release them back into the wild, these
guys will go up north to be released, " Ponder said.
If you still need a gift idea for the holidays, you can donate to the Raptor
Center and release a great grey owl.
There are nine northern owls at the raptor center right now. The shortage in
their natural food supply happens every 10 to 15 years.
Disclaimer: This article has been reproduced from http://wcco.com and placed here for comment.
OwlPages.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any information in this article, and does not necessarily agree with the author's opinions.
2005-06-06 - Great horned owl now protected in Minnesota by Jeff Dankert - St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A.
2005-03-29 - Foundation helps Raptor Center with gray owl care by Jerret Raffety - St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A.
2005-03-17 - Under proposed legislation, great horned owl to be taken off list of unprotected birds in Minnesota by T.W. Budig - St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A.
2005-03-17 - Raptor Center treating more owl patients by Steven John - St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A.
2005-03-01 - Raptor Center helping more owls by Jerret Raffety - St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A.
2005-02-23 - Owl invasion draws birders to Minnesota by Chris Niskanen - St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A.
2005-01-25 - Owls traveling south in large numbers by David Hill - St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A.
2004-12-15 - Increase in Owl Admissions by Sue Kirchoff - St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A.
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