This weekend, our friends over at First Floors* were here getting started on our fence for the backyard (!!!) and I was here doing some homework for classes while they were on the property. Mike came in to tell me that we had a juvenile owl in our backyard and that he “wasn’t doing so good.” We went outside and sure enough, there was a juvenile screech owl in the yard, he couldn’t open both of his eyes, he wasn’t moving very much, and we thought maybe he had a broken wing. Well, immediately we called 311 and I was on the phone with the rep there waiting as she put in the service request for animal control, but honestly, Bobby didn’t look so hot. (I named him Bobby, cuz that’s what I do, I am a namer of things). The woman at 311 (shout out to Shelly!) said that animal control could take a while and that if I was willing there was another option.
See, our little school is located not too far away from the Austin Wildlife Rescue Center and they take in sick or injured wildlife. The woman at 311 gave me their contact information and told me that I could call them and they would tell us how to handle Bobby and where to take him. So, another phone call later, and the woman at the rescue center told us we were welcome to bring him in. They said to put a towel over him so that we could pick him up and put him into a box or cat carrier. If you ever find a sick or injured bird -especially a raptor- the towel is good for keeping talons and beaks away from skin. Well, little Bobby was so disoriented that we were able to pick him up with some garden gloves and get him in a box.
My friend Erin and I drove out the the rescue center on MLK and were able to meet with one of the staff there and hand Bobby over. It was a wild ride getting there on 183, but he made it out ok. They were able to do a preliminary check while we were there filling out paper work, and it turns out that Bobby didn’t have any broken bones, but he had suffered a head trauma, which could have resulted from anything ranging from flying into a door or window, to being attacked by a larger predator. They were able to give him some anti inflammatory and pain medication to ease him while they awaited a vet giving him a thorough examination. The staff at the rescue center were amazing!
They told us that because Bobby is a raptor, if they are able to rehabilitate him, they will be bringing him back out to the school to release him once he is better. They like to get the raptors back to their natural habitats as quickly as possible as they are a necessary part of the ecosystem. My amazing father-in-law is building us a screech owl house to place high up in one of our pecan trees so that Bobby has a safe place to sleep during the day! I called this morning to check on Bobby, and things are still touch and go, but they said he seems to be doing a bit better and that they have seen animals recover from worse injuries than Bobby has. Hopefully, he will be back with us at the school soon! All in all, we had quite an exciting day here at Growing Curiosity!
*First Floors – Call Alex Rollert 512-360-7704