When a barred owl perched in the middle of the road in Branford, Connecticut and refused to move, residents in the area became concerned. They had been observing the owl grow up in the area over the past several years and had developed an emotional attachment to the bird’s well-being.
Laura Burban, director of Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter, was also eager to assist the owl after receiving the call for help.
She posted on the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter Facebook page, “Yesterday was a thrilling day for me! I’ve been working at the shelter for 15 years and have never been on an Owl call before! Usually, my staff handles calls while I’m in the office, but when I heard about the Owl call, I couldn’t resist!”
Upon reaching the location, Burban noticed that the owl would spread its wings whenever a car or person approached, but it didn’t fly away.
“I’ve always dreamt of witnessing one of these magnificent creatures up close and knowing that I was able to assist,” she further shared on Facebook. “This poor owl may have been struck by a car as it doesn’t seem to have any broken wings, but there could be bruising.”
She intended to gently cover the owl with a towel before attempting to handle him. Using a towel would help minimize the owl’s stress, but it proved to be challenging as the owl could turn his head almost 360 degrees and stared directly at Burban. With the assistance of her fellow animal control officer’s distraction, Burban was eventually able to place the towel over the owl.
Afterward, they carefully loaded the owl into their van and drove to A Place Called Hope, a specialized wildlife rehabilitation center for birds.
It turned out the owl had a severe wrist fracture, Burban later informed the Dodo.
During the owl’s recovery, Burban received a call from Jamie Cosgrove, the town’s First Selectman and grandson of the shelter’s namesake.
“He said, ‘I’m calling about my owl! Everybody in the neighborhood has been asking about the owl, wondering if he’s going to be okay’,” she told the Dodo. “Everybody knows him. He’s like a famous owl over there, like the mayor of the neighborhood.”
Fortunately, a few weeks after being rescued, the barred owl was deemed ready for release back into the wild. A Place Called Hope informed Burban that the owl would be released on “Dan Cosgrove’s former property near his pond” as a stroke of serendipity. Jamie Cosgrove would have the honor of opening the soft kennel and setting the owl free to fly.
A Place Called Hope shared a video on Facebook, which you can watch below:
Burban stated, “This magnificent creature has returned to his native land, ready to begin the New Year soaring high and free! Best of luck, beautiful bird!”