Every so often I like to recount one of the adventures I have had since I moved to Arizona. Growing up as a city boy I never really encountered a lot of wildlife other than squirrels and chipmunks. But since moving to a semi-rural area in N. Scottsdale I have had many adventures with nature.
This particular story is one I like to tell my friends from the Midwest.
One day a few years ago I was working out in my yard and noticed a small bird that had some difficulty trying to fly. When I approached the bird I realized it was a screech owl. It did not appear to be injured, yet I could tell it was sick.
Not being too well schooled in owls, I called a local wildlife sanctuary. My thinking was that they would come to pick it up and care for the little guy. But to my surprise, they instructed me to “bring it in”. “Bring it in! How do you suppose I do that?” I asked.
The woman instructed me to get a box, put a small towel or rag on the bottom so the owl would have something to grab. Then put the little guy in the box and bring it in. “Don’t worry,” she said, “When you pick it up it will become very passive. It will play dead.”
Sure enough, when I reached down to pick it up, it became very passive. I placed it in the box and put it in my car.
When I arrived at the sanctuary, they took it out and examined it. They thought it might have been poisoned. Apparently, when humans spray for bugs, it kills the bugs but then the owl eats the bug(s) and picks up the poison.
They gave the bird an injection of saline and promised to nurse it back to health.
Needless to say, I am now very careful about the use of pesticides, keeping their use to a minimum.
I really do not know if the little guy survived. Chances are if he did he probably encountered all kinds of human resistance to his wellbeing. I know that this event has made me more aware of the impact humans have on wildlife when we move into their territory.
It takes a little effort to be a good neighbor.
Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix & Scottsdale metro area. You can follow Joe's real estate blog at From The Outside Looking In or find more great information by visiting his website at www.Scottsdale-AZHomes.com.