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Great Gray Owl Hit By Car

Article Date: 2005-03-08   Source:   Comments: 0

Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A. - Migratory Birds Aren't Used To Traffic

Hundreds of bird watchers have been out searching for great gray owls, near Goose Pond, Janesville, and near Stoughton in Lake Kegonsa Park.

Thousands of the big birds have swooped down from Canada into Minnesota and Wisconsin. Birders in the Madison area are scanning the skies for a glimpse.

Rebecca Dubey has been on a different search mission.

"There had been reports that the owl looked injured (Monday) morning, I saw that on the Internet," she said. "I came down to the ranger station and talked to the rangers and they had also seen it (Monday) morning and thought it was injured."

She and her husband went looking for what might be an injured owl.

"I stopped in my tracks when I saw it because I was unsure that I was even going to be able to find it -- it could have been anywhere up or down," she said.

The bird was captured by a federally licensed bird-handler and taken to the Emergency Clinic for Animals in Madison, where doctors have seen a few great grays before. (Note: Officials say people should not touch or try to capture wild birds. If you see an injured bird, call state wildlife officials at (608) 266-2621.)

"When the owl came in we were suspicious of head trauma because of the difference in pupil size and some abrasions that we found on his body," said Dr. Lynne Kunitz.

They didn't find any broken bones but think it was hit by a car.

"This bird and many of the owls do fly very low to the ground," Kunitz said. "This one I saw flying toward me about a foot off the ground and it becomes quite invisible at that low altitude."

The owl is now doing well, doctors said, and is now in a rehabilitation facility.

"He's brighter and more alert and more aware of his surroundings, versus being more mentally dull when he first came in, more of a stunned condition," Kunitz said.

Unfortunately, it's common for the owls to be hit by cars, News 3 reported.

Many of the birds that that migrate from their northern locations aren't used to cars, and will continue their hunting path even in harm's way.

The owls are here looking for food after the mice and mole population crashed in Canada. Great Gray Owls can grow to be nearly 3 feet tall and are known for their loud, low and descending, "Whooooo, woo, woo ... " according to

Disclaimer: This article has been reproduced from and placed here for comment. is not responsible for the accuracy of any information in this article, and does not necessarily agree with the author's opinions.

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