Snowy Owl going to Rehab

Steve Davis holding "Joni" just prior to transport to Rehab.

Steve Davis holding “Joni” just prior to transport to Rehab.

A small group of us have been keeping close watch of the Snowy Owl “Joni” since she was discovered this past weekend. This morning Steve Davis went to check on her around dawn. He found her sitting on the edge of the road. At first it seemed she was Ok, but since cars were passing so close to her and she wasn’t moving he decided to approach her. She made a short wobbly hop, but could not fly. She settled back on the side of the road. Steve called me to let me know what was happening and we quickly decided she had to get off the side of the road. Steve approached her again and she didn’t move. He retrieved a towel from his truck and wrapped her in it. Two passers by stopped to offer help. One was Sullivan Audubon member Kathy Scullion. The gentleman who stopped works near the Delaware Raptor Center in Milford PA. He knows the staff there and agreed to transport the bird there. I called the Raptor Center, alerting them to the bird being transported in for rehab. Steve was able to note that there appeared to be no wing injuries and she was able to move them. He thought she might have a leg injury, but couldn’t be sure. I will post an update on this site once we have more information on her. I have attached a photo of Steve holding the owl just prior to transporting her to the center. A big thanks to Steve for keeping an eye on the bird and coming to her rescue!!

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27 Responses to Snowy Owl going to Rehab

  1. scott baldinger says:

    Wow. I hope she will be o k. Thank goodness for Steve, Kathy, the other gentlemen who stopped to offer transport, and yourself for looking out for Joni’s welfare!

  2. Karen C Miller says:

    That picture of Steve holding the Snowy is a keeper! He was in the right place at the right time.

  3. Jim Borden says:

    I applaud you, Steve and Jeff for making the right set of decisions. This is an example of how birders and birder/photographers work together.

  4. Deb Kral says:

    Thank goodness! Hopefully she will be ok and with their TLC, will recuperate uneventfully. Thanks to everyone involved and as John said, hoping for a happy ending!

    John, will you be posting an update once you know the results of their assessment?

  5. Deb Kral says:

    Thanks, John. Poor birds, one was found dead, emaciated, in CT this morning. Your blog was shared on the CT List. Folks are asking for people to give them distance but its preaching to the choir, its the general public that doesn’t realize how stressed these birds are. As much as I love seeing them and photographing them, another part of me feels very badly that they had to leave their habitat and probably won’t be returning.

    • It is very unfortunate, hopefully she makes it.  You absolutely couldn’t see this bird as being stressed.  She hunted regularly and we saw her regurgitate a pellet (which I collected)  She was totally undisturbed by our presence.  She moved far and wide around the many fields and often came back to land on a pole right next to the people watching her (hence my pics).  We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

      • Deb Kral says:

        John, in honor of “Joni” and all of our Snowy visitors I would love to make a donation to the Raptor Center where she is being treated – do you have any info, maybe others would want to do the same?

      • Deb,     I am in the process of putting on a post now. I had already checked about donations and they will gladly be accepted. Thanks for your interest!  It will be up shortly. John

  6. Deb Kral says:

    Oh I certainly know you folks didn’t stress her, they arrived this way. I guess it is hard for us to know their true condition, and as you said, she was hunting and apparently eating. From the pictures she does not look like a sick bird. Wish I had gotten to see her. From what I have been hearing there have been problems with people disturbing the Long Island birds, trying to get close, chasing them, etc.

    • I know that it does happen, again unfortunate.  Even then, it sparks debate and people have had differing views.  I just hope the owls survive.  The time I’ve spent with this one has raised it to a new level of magnificence in my eyes.

  7. Tom Reichert says:

    thanks for sharing this great story john. I hope joni makes out ok ! p.s. I love your book.

  8. June Miceli says:

    Thank you for helping this beautiful bird!

  9. Gerald says:

    Isn’t it likely this bird was hit by a car and probably had a concussion. I recovered a screech owl like that one time, set him in a tree in the yard and a day later he flew off. CERTAINLY hope this beautiful bird recovers as easily.

    • Gerald, that was our theory initially, but a complete exam by a vet revealed no injuries what so ever. The bird weighed in at exactly half the normal weight for a female hatch year bird. This is pretty typical during these irruptions and particularly unfortunate. Thanks for your interest, John

  10. She certainly is a beautiful bird.. I hope she makes a full recovery.. Thankfully you were all there for her..

  11. Pingback: 10,000 Birds | Snowy Owl Mania!

  12. Liz Okon says:

    in wonderful hands at the delaware valley raptor center…

  13. Ruth McKeon says:

    Great job Steve! I’m certain Bill Streeter and staff will take good care of her and, hopefully, nurse her back to health!

  14. Cathy says:

    I just want to thank my brother Stephen for all his tlc and the tranport of this beautiful bird to the raptor center
    Thanks again bro

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