Monday, August 8, 2011

daylight owl #2

From the Sydney Morning Herald today:

A beautiful but disoriented barn owl was discovered on the Fairfax Media balcony yesterday before it flew across the park to the Google building, where Barry Alexander from the Australian Wildlife Rescue Organisation (WIRES) rescued it with a net, and some patience and not a little tenderness (which, when we put it like that, sounds rather like the title of a sweet, if maudlin, country and western song). Anyway, we called WIRES to ask why the owl was pottering about in Pyrmont, and found ourselves talking to their Sydney raptor co-ordinator, Caroline Enfield. ''The first thing to remember is at this time of year you've got some young males about who are not quite as savvy as the adults, and they end up perching in the wrong places, and, when the sun comes up, it becomes hard for them to re-orient to the warehouses they might normally live [in].'' We would like to reinforce at this point Enfield is talking about young male owls. When we spoke to her she was on her way to give an assessment of his health. ''We'll keep an eye for a couple of days,'' she said, ''and let it go at night, probably at the casino, as it's near the water, and its feed supply - rats and mice.'' (Again: we are talking about young male owls.) Enfield added people were often surprised such birds were so near the city. ''There are peregrine falcons at the airport and on the Westfield buildings in Bondi, because their food source - pigeons - is close by. They are around us all the time, but people don't look up.'' Stay tuned for an update on ''Barney''. Or send in a better name should you think of one.

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