02/16/05 — Barred owl finds shelter with wildlife expert

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Barred owl finds shelter with wildlife expert

By Winkie Lee
Published in News on February 16, 2005 2:09 PM

Hootie, a barred owl found off Corbit Road in the Hood Swamp area Saturday, has found a home with state and federally licensed wildlife rehabilitator Judith Wilt.

Named by the people who found it, Hootie, whose gender is unknown, is about two or three weeks old. It had fallen from a tree, and its parents were nowhere to be found.

The people called Ms. Wilt, and she took Hootie to her home, where it was fed and soon fell asleep. Ms. Wilt will either keep the bird until it can be safely released into the wild or carry it to the Carolina Raptor Center in Charlotte where it can be raised with other bard owls.

Ms. Wilt has rescued hundreds of wild animals over the past 13 years and wants people to know how to properly respond when they find orphaned or injured owls.

First, wearing gloves or using a towel, gently pick the bird up and place it in a small box. If possible, cover the top of the box with something the animal can breathe through.

Keep it away from pets and people.

Place the box in a dark, quiet place.

Do not smoke around the bird because nicotine will poison it.

Don't feed it. Instead, look for qualified licensed help which will take the bird and care for it. In Wayne County, people can call local veterinarians to be referred to a wildlife rehabilitator.

Ms. Wilt reminds that is against federal law to keep, hunt or injure owls and other birds of prey.